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Sam Bankman-Fried’s Two Top Associates Plead Guilty to Criminal Charges

by Arnab Shome
  • Both are facing civil charges brought by the SEC and CFTC.
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Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX's Founder and CEO
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Two top associates of the Sam Bankman-Fried, Alameda Research’s former CEO, Caroline Ellison, and Alameda and FTX’s Co-Founder, Zixiao (Gary) Wang, who was the former CTO at FTX, have pled guilty to the criminal charges brought against them by the US prosecutors.

US Attorney Goes After Two Sam Bankman-Fried Associates at Alameda Research

In a short video posted on Wednesday night, US Attorney Damian Williams confirmed that the Southern District of New York brought charges against the two co-conspirators of the Bankman-Fried, who have already pleaded guilty to those charges.

According to the plea agreement seen by several media outlets, 28-year-old Ellison pleaded guilty to seven counts, including wire and securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering . These charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 110 years in prison. Wang, a 29-year-old, pleaded to four counts with a maximum prison sentence of 50 years.

Both of them are now awaiting formal sentencing, but the prosecutors agreed not to oppose their paid requests with conditions like a bail bond and handing over travel documents.

In addition, Williams called out to the other Bankman-Fried associates who helped to build the fraudulent FTX empire to come forward, adding: “We are moving quickly, and our patience is not eternal.”

Civil Charges by Market Supervisors Against Alameda's Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) moved against Ellison and Wang separately. Both agencies brought civil charges against the two Bankman-Fried associates for fraud.

The regulatory agencies have blamed Elison for manipulating the price of the FTT tokens and directing Alameda to use billions of dollars of FTX funds, including FTX customer funds. Wang was primarily accused of improperly diverting FTX customer funds to Alameda and manipulating the code of FTX change at the direction of the Bankman-Fried, allowing Alameda to have an unfair advantage while executing the risky trades.

“We further allege that Ms Ellison and Mr Wang played an active role in a scheme to misuse FTX customer assets to prop up Alameda and to post collateral for margin trading,” said SEC’s Chair, Gary Gensler.

Both Ellison and Wang are now cooperating with the two regulatory agencies. Additionally, the CFTC highlighted that they are not contesting their liabilities.

Sam Bankman-Fried Returns to the US

The criminal and civil charges against Ellison and Wang came when the custody of Bankman-Fried was handed over to a team of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the Bahamas by the local police. He is now being extradited to the United States to face criminal charges.

Check out the Finance Magnates interview with Sam Bankman-Fried from last year when he was still regarded as a crypto 'messiah'.

Bankman-Fried was arrested last week in the Bahamas after the Southern District of New York charged him with eight criminal counts, including charges of wire and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to avoid campaign finance regulations. The 30-year-old is now looking at a maximum prison term of 130 years.

Two top associates of the Sam Bankman-Fried, Alameda Research’s former CEO, Caroline Ellison, and Alameda and FTX’s Co-Founder, Zixiao (Gary) Wang, who was the former CTO at FTX, have pled guilty to the criminal charges brought against them by the US prosecutors.

US Attorney Goes After Two Sam Bankman-Fried Associates at Alameda Research

In a short video posted on Wednesday night, US Attorney Damian Williams confirmed that the Southern District of New York brought charges against the two co-conspirators of the Bankman-Fried, who have already pleaded guilty to those charges.

According to the plea agreement seen by several media outlets, 28-year-old Ellison pleaded guilty to seven counts, including wire and securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering . These charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 110 years in prison. Wang, a 29-year-old, pleaded to four counts with a maximum prison sentence of 50 years.

Both of them are now awaiting formal sentencing, but the prosecutors agreed not to oppose their paid requests with conditions like a bail bond and handing over travel documents.

In addition, Williams called out to the other Bankman-Fried associates who helped to build the fraudulent FTX empire to come forward, adding: “We are moving quickly, and our patience is not eternal.”

Civil Charges by Market Supervisors Against Alameda's Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) moved against Ellison and Wang separately. Both agencies brought civil charges against the two Bankman-Fried associates for fraud.

The regulatory agencies have blamed Elison for manipulating the price of the FTT tokens and directing Alameda to use billions of dollars of FTX funds, including FTX customer funds. Wang was primarily accused of improperly diverting FTX customer funds to Alameda and manipulating the code of FTX change at the direction of the Bankman-Fried, allowing Alameda to have an unfair advantage while executing the risky trades.

“We further allege that Ms Ellison and Mr Wang played an active role in a scheme to misuse FTX customer assets to prop up Alameda and to post collateral for margin trading,” said SEC’s Chair, Gary Gensler.

Both Ellison and Wang are now cooperating with the two regulatory agencies. Additionally, the CFTC highlighted that they are not contesting their liabilities.

Sam Bankman-Fried Returns to the US

The criminal and civil charges against Ellison and Wang came when the custody of Bankman-Fried was handed over to a team of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the Bahamas by the local police. He is now being extradited to the United States to face criminal charges.

Check out the Finance Magnates interview with Sam Bankman-Fried from last year when he was still regarded as a crypto 'messiah'.

Bankman-Fried was arrested last week in the Bahamas after the Southern District of New York charged him with eight criminal counts, including charges of wire and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to avoid campaign finance regulations. The 30-year-old is now looking at a maximum prison term of 130 years.

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