Eccentric cryptocurrency leader Sam Bankman-Fried has gone from ruling the world of digital finance to facing the possibility of a 110-year prison sentence. A New York federal court found him guilty of seven counts, including fraud, money laundering, and document forgery, in connection with a massive $10 billion fraud. Bankman-Fried, who thirteen months ago had a fortune of $26 billion, has seen her life change.
The Bankman-Fried case has become one of the most high-profile frauds in the United States since the confession of Bernard Madoff in 2008, when he admitted his involvement in a $50 billion pyramid scheme. However, what makes this case even more remarkable is the youth of the accused, only 31 years old, and his connection to the world of cryptocurrencies, which symbolize the convergence of technology and finance.
The month-long trial was marked by extensive testimony against him, and Bankman-Fried took the unusual step of leading his own defense. The jury unanimously concluded that he not only turned FTX, his cryptocurrency platform, into a pyramid scheme similar to Madoff’s, but also used it as his personal ATM, transferring funds to his investment fund, Alameda Research.
The decision will be announced in March 2024, and this case raises uncertainty in the cryptocurrency industry, which exceeds one trillion euros. The American regulators, the SEC and the CFTC, are looking for greater regulation of this market. The “wild west” of cryptocurrencies may end with the Bankman-Fried conviction.