(HorizonPost.com) – On Thursday, a Manhattan jury in the monthlong federal fraud trial of Sam Bankman-Fried convicted the disgraced FTX founder on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy, the Associated Press reported.
Bankman-Fried was charged with wire fraud, security fraud, and commodities fraud after stealing as much as $10 billion in customer deposits to make large political donations and purchase luxury real estate, in a scheme that eventually bankrupted the company.
During his three days of testimony, Bankman-Fried insisted that he didn’t know that his crypto exchange was $10 billion in debt until last October. Jurors rejected the crypto billionaire’s claim that he never intended to defraud his customers and never committed fraud.
The jury found Bankman-Fried guilty of seven counts — two counts of wire fraud, two of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and three additional conspiracy charges – which carry in total up to 110 years in prison.
Judge Lewis Kaplan scheduled sentencing for March 28.
Outside of the courthouse, Bankman-Fried’s attorney Mark Cohen read a statement to reporters saying while the defense respected the jury’s verdict, they were “disappointed with the result.”
Cohen said the FTX founder maintains that he is innocent and “will continue to vigorously fight the charges.”
US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams told reporters that Bankman-Fried committed one of the largest financial frauds in US history. Williams described the fraud as a “multi-billion-dollar scheme designed” to make Sam Bankman-Fried “the king of crypto.”
Williams said while the cryptocurrency market “might be new,” this kind of fraud and corruption are “as old as time,” adding that the Justice Department has “no patience for it.”
Sending a warning to other crypto-investors who may believe that they are “untouchable,” Williams said. “We’ll have enough handcuffs for all of them.”
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