by Jared Higgs, Luke Cohen and Chris Prentice
nassauthe Bahamas/Nuevanew yorkDecember 13 – US prosecutors on Tuesday indicted cryptocurrency exchange founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. ftxFraud and violation of campaign finance laws by misappropriating their clients’ funds.
Prosecutors said the investigation was ongoing and “moving very quickly.”
US Attorney Damien Williams in New York said Bankman-Fried “stole money from clients” as well as making illegal campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans in what he called “one of the largest financial frauds in American history”.
“Although this is our first public announcement, it will not be our last,” he said, adding Bankman-Fried “has earned millions of dollars in campaign contributions.”
Williams declined to say whether prosecutors would press charges against the other officers. ftxinsisted that the investigation was ongoing, also did not report whether any employees ftx Was cooperating with the investigation.
Bankman-Fried appeared in court on Tuesday in the Bahamas, where she was arrested on Monday and where she is based. ftx,
Arriving at the heavily guarded Bahamas courthouse, Bankman-Fried, 30, appeared relaxed and wore a blue shirt. This was his first public appearance since the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange.
Bankman-Fried told the court that he could challenge his extradition to the United States.
An attorney for Bankman-Fried requested that his client be released on $250,000 bail. Prosecutors in the Bahamas have demanded that he be dismissed if he opposes extradition.
“Mr. Bankman-Fried is reviewing the allegations with his legal team and is considering all of his legal options,” his attorney, Mark S. Cohen, said in an earlier statement.
Current CEO of ftxJohn Wray testified before Congressmen on Tuesday that ftx lost $8 billion of its customers’ money, claiming that the company displayed “absolute concentration of control in the hands of a small group of highly inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals”.
In an indictment open Tuesday morning, US prosecutors said Bankman-Fried participated in a scheme to defraud bank customers. ftx By misappropriating his deposits to pay expenses and loans, and to invest on behalf of his cryptocurrency hedge fund, Alameda Research LLC,
Prosecutors said the executive also defrauded Alameda lenders by providing false and misleading information about the hedge fund’s position and tried to hide money made by wire fraud.
Both the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (seconds) as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) alleged that Bankman-Fried committed fraud in the lawsuits filed Tuesday.
since at least May 2019, ftx Raised over $1.8 billion from equity investors in a “major, multi-year scheme” that Bankman-Fried concealed ftx Alameda Research was diverting client funds in The seconds,
Bankman-Fried has apologized to customers and admitted supervisory failings in ftxBut he has said that he does not personally believe that he bears any criminal responsibility.