The circle is closing in the United States around former cryptocurrency king Sam Bankman-Fried, his closest collaborators and the entire digital currency sector which is suspected of becoming a breeding ground for giant “Ponzi schemes” against investors small and large.
two lieutenants Young Founder of Ftx Exchange Just yesterday passed under house arrest after a $250 million bail, Caroline Ellison who ran the associated trading firm and hedge fund Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, co-founder and chief technology officer of Ftx and former colleague of Bankman-Fried all’ Mit, both pleaded guilty to felony fraud. More: The New York federal attorney general’s office has announced that it is actively cooperating with investigations to shed light on cracking the multibillion-dollar empire that thirty-year-old businessman Bankman-Fried built on virtual currencies.
Ellison is 28 years old and has been CEO of Alameda since 2021; Wang is 29 and has joined Bankman-Fried since the crypto project’s inception in 2019. Prosecutors view Ellison and Wang’s cooperation as vital in pursuing the entire case and its aftermath. The multiple offenses of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering that the two former executives pleaded guilty to now carry penalties of 110 and 50 years in prison, respectively, as well as fines running into the millions of dollars.
Prior to bail, Bankman Fried was in prison in the United States after being admitted without resistanceExtradition from the Bahamas, where he lived in a large apartment with Ellison, with whom he had romantic relations, and Wang. The scam he is the protagonist of, according to authorities, saw large client funds illegally stolen from Ftx to funnel for Bankman-Fried, Alameda hedging, risky bets on other assets, luxury property purchases and donations to politicians. Losses related to the scandal have so far been estimated at more than $7 billion, making the case one of the largest financial frauds in Wall Street history; Ftx at the peak of its success had a maximum value of $32 billion.
Bankman-Fried, Ellison, and Wang have also been sued in the past few hours, in civil actions, by US regulatory authorities, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the CFTC. Among other things, the SEC brought to light a three-year conspiracy to manipulate the price of Ftt, the security token of Ftx, following instructions from Bankman-Fried, which was carried out through purchases of large quantities of Ftt in the market. These inflated values allowed FTX to use loan guarantee tokens, which were then funneled to Alameda and ended up in Bankman-Fried’s pocket. All while the senior management of the group made sure that the company was rather safe, and had sophisticated strategies to manage risks and protect customers.
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