Money laundering: Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty of FTX fraud

Sam Bankman-Fried, who once ran a major cryptocurrency exchange, has been found guilty of fraud and money laundering, following a month long trial.

Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty of fraud. Photo Courtesy: 3.0 DEED/Wikimedia commons

The verdict was given against him after a trial he faced in New York.

The jury delivered its verdict after deliberating for a few hours.

It concluded a stunning fall from grace for the 31-year-old former billionaire and one of the most public faces of the crypto industry, reported BBC.

The crypto entrepreneur was arrested last year after the firm FTX went bankrupt.

Bankman-Fried now faces decades in prison.

After the verdict was announced, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement: “Sam Bankman-Fried thought that he was above the law. Today’s verdict proves he was wrong. This case should send a clear message to anyone who tries to hide their crimes behind a shiny new thing they claim no one else is smart enough to understand: the Justice Department will hold you accountable.”

“I am grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the FBI for their outstanding work in bringing Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice,” he said.

Prosecutors had accused Bankman-Fried of lying to investors and lenders and stealing billions of dollars from cryptocurrency exchange FTX, helping to precipitate its collapse. They charged him with seven counts of fraud and money laundering, reported BBC.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyer Mark Cohen said the result has left them disappointed.

“We respect the jury’s decision,” Cohen was quoted as saying by BBC.

“Mr Bankman-Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him,” he added.