SBF’s ex-girlfriend among FTX associates cooperates against him in US lawsuit

Secret Sam Bankman-Fried’s Two Top Associates pleaded guilty to a criminal offence in the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and is cooperating with investigators, a federal prosecutor announced Wednesday as the digital currency businessman is being held by the FBI from the Bahamas to the United States. Ky.

Carolyn Ellison, 28, former CEO of Alameda Research, a trading firm founded by Bankman-Fried, and Gary Wang, 29, a co-founder of FTX, pleaded guilty to charges including fraud. wire transfer fraud, securities fraud and commodity fraud.

“Both are partnering with the Southern District of New York,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Wednesday night in a video statement released on social media.

He added that anyone else involved in the scam should contact his office as “our patience is not eternal” and could face further criminal charges against those others.

The surprise guilty plea was announced as Bankman-Fried was being extradited from the Bahamas by US law enforcement in response to charges related to his role in the FTX failure. He is scheduled to appear in a federal court in New York City on Thursday.

Prior to Bankman-Fried’s airing, US prosecutors had not publicly disclosed that Ellison and Wang might face criminal charges or that they had pledged to cooperate with investigators.

It’s unclear if Bankman-Fried, who apologized for the collapse of FTX but denied defrauding anyone, is also in the dark.

Ellison and Wang signed a plea agreement on December 19, in part in exchange for a promise that prosecutors would offer to reduce their sentences if they cooperate fully in the investigation.

Without such a deal, Ellison, who also faces money laundering conspiracy charges, could face 110 years in prison. Wang can receive up to 50 years.

Both were released on $250,000 bail after going to secret court with travel restrictions in the continental United States.

Wang’s lawyer, Ilan Graff, said: “Gary has accepted responsibility for his actions and taken seriously his duties as a cooperating witness.

Ellison’s attorney did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

In a parallel civil complaint filed on Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wang and Ellison were “active participants” in a scheme they called Bankman-Fried to defraud. FTX investors and scam their customers.

Wang created the software code that allows Alameda to transfer funds from FTX customers. The SEC said that Ellison then used the embezzled money for Alameda’s trading activities.

Bahamian government arrested Bankman-Fried last week at the request of the US government. US prosecutors allege he played a central role in the rapid demise of FTX and hide its problems from the public and investors.

The SEC and prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried illegally extracted customer deposits on the FTX platform and used it to enable Alameda trading, real estate purchases and major campaign donations to politicians. US ruler.

The 30-year-old is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Bankman-Fried was initially denied bail by a Bahamian judge. Founder and former CEO of FTX, once worth tens of billions of dollars on paper, then held in the Bahamas’ fox Hill Prison, which is said by human rights activists, has poor sanitation and is full of rats and insects.

On Wednesday, Bahamian Attorney General Ryan Pinder said Bankman-Fried had agreed to be moved to the United States.

Reporters watched Bankman-Fried leave the Magistrates Court in Nassau in a dark SUV early Wednesday after relinquishing his right to object to extradition.

Upon his first appearance in a courtroom in the United States, Bankman-Fried’s attorney will be able to ask him to be released on bail.

Bankman-Fried is one of the richest people in the world on paper, with an estimated net worth of $32 billion. He is a prominent figure in Washington, donating millions of dollars to mostly leftist political causes and Democratic political campaigns. FTX has grown to become the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.

He has said he is not “intentionally” abusing customer funds and says he believes his millions of angry customers will eventually be resolved.

At a congressional hearing last week, FTX’s new CEO, John Ray III, who has been tasked with bringing the company through bankruptcy, flatly denied those assertions: We will never get all these assets back,” Ray said.

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