In a landmark development, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been pronounced guilty of embezzling a staggering $8 billion from the users of his now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange.
The verdict was delivered by a 12-member jury in the federal court of Manhattan, following a month-long trial.
The conviction on all seven charges levied against Bankman-Fried has set the stage for his sentencing on March 28, 2024.
If the sentencing follows the legal guidelines, Bankman-Fried could potentially face a lengthy prison term that spans several decades.
This historic judgment arrives approximately one year after FTX’s abrupt declaration of bankruptcy, which sent shockwaves through the financial markets and obliterated his estimated personal wealth of $26 billion.
According to a report from Reuters, the jury reached their decision in slightly over four hours of deliberations.
The outcome of this trial marks a significant triumph for the U.S. Department of Justice and Damian Williams, the principal federal prosecutor in Manhattan, who has consistently prioritized the eradication of corruption within financial markets.
In a statement to the press outside the courthouse, Damian Williams emphasized, “The cryptocurrency industry may be relatively new, and figures like Sam Bankman-Fried may be newcomers, but this type of fraudulent activity is as old as time, and we have zero tolerance for it.”
Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s defense attorney, expressed disappointment but conveyed respect for the jury’s determination.
Cohen further affirmed, “Mr. Bankman-Fried continues to assert his innocence and remains committed to fiercely contesting the charges against him.”