Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison were accused of helping to perpetrate the FTX fraud


Two of Sam Bankman-Fried’s former associates pleaded guilty to federal criminal allegations. They helped him to orchestrate a long-running scheme for defrauding investors in FTX, a cryptocurrency trading platform that… collapsed last monthThe US Attorney for Southern District of New York said this Wednesday.

The executives — Caroline Ellison, who served as CEO of Alameda Research, a Bankman-Fried hedge fund, and Gary Wang, the former chief technology officer of FTX — are cooperating with prosecutors, said Damian Williams, the Manhattan district attorney.

The news broke as Bankman-Fried was being flown from the Bahamas to New York. He was currently being held in prison. for more than a week. Bankman-Fried is now at an increasing risk of legal action due to Ellison’s and Wang’s guilty pleas. As prosecutors build up evidence against him, this means that he is more vulnerable than ever.

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Williams said Wednesday night in a prerecorded video that “We continue to work round the clock and it’s still far from finished”. He encouraged anyone who was involved in misconduct in Bankman Fried’s crypto empire to speak up, echoing the call he made last week when he announced charges against the former CEO. A spokesperson for Bankman Fried declined to comment.

Ellison, who was also his ex-girlfriend as well as running Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency-trading company, pleaded guilty in seven counts. These charges mirror a large portion in the Bankman-Fried case. Her charges include conspiracy, wire fraud, commodity fraud, and money laundering. You could spend up 110 years in prison.

Wang, co-founder of FTX, pleaded guilty on four counts each of fraud and conspiracy. He faces up to fifty years in prison.

Williams stated, “Both of them collaborate with the Southern District New York.”

Ilan Graf, Wang’s attorney, stated that his client has “accepted responsibility for his actions and takes serious his obligations as a cooperating testimony.” Ellison’s lawyer did not immediately respond when I asked for comment.

Ellison and Wang were released on $250,000 bonds. They signed plea agreements and entered into a formal guilty plea in closed session Monday before a Manhattan federal judge. If the case is considered to be beneficial and it does not violate the conventions the plaintiffs are expected recommend a lighter sentence. However, one cannot be guaranteed.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ellison and Wang on Wednesday with fraud. They were accused of helping Bankman-Fried funnel FTX client money into the hedge funds while misleading investors. The agency claims that Ellison, acting under Bankman-Fried’s direction manipulated the price FTT, a digital token that FTX issued, which was used by executives to mislead investors regarding the validity of their business.

Gary Gensler, SEC Chairman, stated that FTT and the rest fell apart.

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Bankman Fried is accused by being the mastermind of one of the biggest financial frauds in American history. Federal authorities claim that FTX began in 2019 and has been using customer deposits to withdraw funds it promised to protect. Instead of using the money as a personal piggybank, top executives have used the funds to buy real estate worth hundreds of million dollars. Real estate, high-risk investments and large amounts of political cash are all possible.

John J. Ray III was appointed to replace Bankman Fried as CEO of FTX. He also managed its divestiture. In a certificateLast week, he testified before the House Financial Services Committee that the company’s demise was due to “the absolute concentration and control in the hands on a very few inexperienced or inexperienced individuals.”

Jacobs reported in New York.

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