FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried faced new fraud charges yesterday, as prosecutors accused him of cheating thousands of investors out of billions of dollars while casting himself as a trustworthy ”saviour of the cryptocurrency industry” – an image boosted by celebrity-studded Super Bowl advertising and big donations to political figures.
our new charges, including securities fraud and conspiracy fraud counts, were unveiled with the unsealing of the refreshed indictment in Manhattan federal court that was returned a day earlier.
In a statement, US Attorney Damian Williams hinted, as he has several times previously, that prosecutors were not finished building their case.
“We are hard at work and will remain so until justice is done,” he said.
A spokesperson for Mr Bankman-Fried declined to comment.
The new charges raised the prison sentence he could face if convicted from 115 years to 155 years, authorities said.
The new charges raised the number of counts in the indictment to 12, as prosecutors more thoroughly and eloquently told their story of what happened to FTX, Mr Bankman-Fried’s global cryptocurrency exchange, and its affiliated cryptocurrency trading hedge fund, Alameda Research.
The description cast FTX customers, investors, financial institutions, lenders and the Federal Election Commission as victims of fraudulent schemes Mr Bankman-Fried allegedly carried out from 2019 until last November.
Prosecutors said he stole billions of dollars in FTX customer deposits to support the operations and investments of FTX and Alameda and to fund speculative venture investments, make charitable donations and spend tens of millions of dollars on illegal campaign donations to Democrats and Republicans in an attempt to buy influence over cryptocurrency regulation in Washington.
They said Mr Bankman-Fried cast himself as a “figurehead of a trustworthy and law-abiding segment of the cryptocurrency industry” that sought to protect investors and clients.
“As recently as late 2022, Bankman-Fried boasted about FTX’s profits and portrayed himself as a saviour of the cryptocurrency industry, making venture investments and acquisitions purportedly to assist struggling industry participants”, the new indictment says.
Meanwhile, he spent millions of dollars on celebrity advertisements during the 2022 Super Bowl that promoted FTX as the “safest and easiest way to buy and sell crypto” and “the most trusted way to buy and sell” digital assets, it states.
In reality, prosecutors wrote, Mr Bankman-Fried routinely tapped FTX customer assets to provide interest-free capital for his and Alameda’s private expenditures and in the process “exposed FTX customers to massive, undisclosed risk”. They said Mr Bankman-Fried controlled both companies and “used them to prop each other up, notwithstanding conflicts of interest and outright lies to the contrary”.
Mr Bankman-Fried has already pleaded not guilty to charges that he cheated investors and looted customer deposits at FTX, his cryptocurrency platform. The charges accuse him of diverting money from his investors in part to finance political donations and make risky trades through his cryptocurrency trading hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.