On Dec. 13, 2022, the Southern District of New York (SDNY) prosecutor’s office and SDNY attorney Damian Williams revealed that the FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been indicted for “fraud, money Laundering, and campaign finance offenses.” SDNY attorney Williams said that the case was not an issue of “mismanagement or poor oversight” but of “intentional fraud, plain and simple.”
SDNY Prosecutor’s Office and Attorney Williams Charge SBF With 8 Financial Crimes
A federal grand jury in Manhattan unsealed an indictment on Dec. 13, 2022, tied to the disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), and the SDNY Department of Justice (DOJ) press release details detail that SBF is accused of “conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission and commit campaign finance violations.”
The SDNY DOJ indictment says SBF is facing up to 165 years in prison and investigators note that since 2019, “Bankman-Fried and his co-conspirators perpetrated a scheme to defraud customers of FTX by misappropriating billions of dollars of those customers’ funds.”
Additionally, the DOJ claims that SBF “allegedly used billions of dollars of FTX customer funds for his personal use, to make investments and millions of dollars of political contributions to federal political candidates and committees.” The news stemming from the DOJ’s Manhattan team follows the charges levied against SBF by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the lawsuit filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Both the SEC and CFTC charges detail that SBF and FTX executives allegedly committed fraud since day one. SDNY attorney Damian Williams said in a statement on Tuesday that he believes the fraud was downright intentional. “One month ago, FTX collapsed, causing billions of dollars in losses to its customers, lenders, and investors,” said U.S. attorney Williams in the DOJ press release. Williams added:
Now, a federal grand jury in New York has indicted the former founder and chief executive officer of FTX and charged him with crimes related to the phenomenal downfall of that one-time cryptocurrency exchange, including fraud on customers, investors, lenders, and our campaign finance system. As today’s charges make clear, this was not a case of mismanagement or poor oversight, but of intentional fraud, plain and simple.
Interestingly, in the SEC, CFTC, and SDNY DOJ charges, Sam Bankman-Fried is the only person charged besides his companies, and ex-Alameda executive Caroline Ellison is not named. Moreover, there have been rumors and theories that Ellison may have snitched on SBF. According to reports, Bankman-Fried’s attorney also claimed SBF has “suffered from depression, insomnia, and ADD for over a decade,” and his legal team would like SBF to be released on bail.
In the SDNY DOJ press statement on Tuesday, the FBI’s assistant director of the FBI New York Field Office, Michael J. Driscoll, warned other financial operations that if they “deceive and defraud” customers, the “FBI will be persistent in our efforts to bring you to justice.” Reuters further reported on Tuesday, that despite SBF’s alleged mental ailments, the Bahamian magistrate in charge of his case denied the FTX co-founder’s bail. “Bankman-Fried to be sent to the Bahamas Department of Correction till Feb. 8, [the] judge says,” Reuters disclosed.
What do you think about the press statement from the SDNY prosecutor’s office concerning the charges against SBF? What do you think about the Bahamian judge denying SBF bail? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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