May 21, 2024

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On this courtroom sketch, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, proper, testifies as Choose Lewis Kaplan, higher left, presides throughout Bankman-Fried’s trial in Manhattan federal courtroom, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, in New York. Elizabeth Williams through AP

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal jury convicted FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on Thursday of fraud prices accusing him of stealing about $10 billion from clients and traders in what a prosecutor says was one of many largest frauds in U.S. historical past.

The decision got here shortly after a Manhattan federal courtroom jury started deliberating halfway by the afternoon.

Bankman-Fried, 31, might face many years in jail after prosecutors mentioned he cheated hundreds of shoppers of billions of {dollars} earlier than the collapse of his firms in November, 2022. Prosecutors mentioned he spent the cash on investments, actual property, promotions for his cryptocurrency change and political contributions.

He was extradited from the Bahamas to america in December. Initially freed on a $250 million private recognizance bond to stay along with his mother and father in Palo Alto, California, he was jailed in August after Choose Lewis A. Kaplan concluded that he had tried to tamper with potential trial witnesses.

The decision got here after a monthlong trial wherein three of his former fellow prime executives pleaded responsible to fraud prices and testified towards him.

Bankman-Fried testified for 3 days, telling the jury he didn’t commit fraud.

After his arrest final 12 months, U.S. Legal professional Damian Williams mentioned the fraud was one of many largest in U.S. historical past.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows under.

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York jury started deliberating on Thursday whether or not FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was responsible of fraud within the disappearance of billions of {dollars} from his clients’ accounts on the cryptocurrency change he created 4 years in the past.

The Manhattan federal courtroom jury started its work after a choose defined the regulation that can steer them by seven prices lodged towards the California man.

Bankman-Fried, 31, testified throughout the monthlong trial that he didn’t defraud hundreds of traders worldwide.

He was extradited to New York from the Bahamas final December to face fraud prices. He’s been jailed since August, when Choose Lewis A. Kaplan dominated that he’d tried to affect potential trial witnesses and will not stay free on the $250 million private recognizance bond that required him to stay at his mother and father’ Palo Alto, California, residence.

Earlier Thursday, Assistant U.S. Legal professional Danielle Sassoon delivered a rebuttal argument, the final of closing arguments that started a day earlier.

She mentioned Bankman-Fried repeatedly promised hundreds of shoppers worldwide that the cash they positioned on the FTX change was protected and guarded at the same time as he was stealing from them, at all times wanting “billions and billions of {dollars} extra from his clients to spend on gaining affect and energy.”

Sassoon, who cross examined Bankman-Fried late final week and early this week, mentioned Bankman-Fried needed to be U.S. president some day however first needed to have the largest cryptocurrency change on the planet. At its peak, FTX was the second-largest.

She mentioned he “dazzled traders and Congress and the media, and labored across the clock to construct a profitable enterprise” whereas overseeing the stealing of FTX funds.

“He knew it was improper, he lied about it and he took steps to cover it,” the prosecutor mentioned.

On Wednesday, Bankman-Fried legal professional Mark Cohen mentioned in his closing argument that his shopper “might have moved too slowly” when it grew to become clear that Alameda Analysis, a cryptocurrency fund he began in 2017, couldn’t restore billions of {dollars} borrowed from FTX when clients demanded it.

“He might have hesitated,” Cohen mentioned. “However he at all times thought that Alameda had adequate belongings on the change and off the change to cowl all of its liabilities.”

He added: “Enterprise selections made in good religion are usually not grounds to convict.”

Cohen instructed jurors to recall Bankman-Fried’s testimony as they evaluation proof.

“When Sam testified earlier than you, he instructed you the reality, the messy fact, that in the actual world miscommunications occur, errors occur, delays occur,” Cohen mentioned. “There have been errors, there have been failures of company controls in danger administration, and there was unhealthy judgment. That doesn’t represent against the law.”