News - Sam Bankman-Fried is guilty

By Mike Hesp

Sam Bankman-Fried is guilty

The trial against SBF lasted five weeks. All sorts of shocking details came to light. Now the decision has been made: he is guilty.

The founder of the insolvent crypto exchange FTX is guilty - on all seven charges against him. That was the decision of the 12 jurors today around 1 a.m. Dutch time. There is no final verdict yet, but the FTX founder will not escape a prison sentence.

Almost a year after the demise of FTX, the decision against Sam Bankman-Fried has come down. He is guilty. The jury found proof that SBF had defrauded investors. The indictment included several counts of fraud and conspiracy. The sentence has not yet been determined. That won't be decided until next year on March 28. At worst, the 31-year-old could face up to 115 years in prison.

Judge Kaplan thanked the jurors for their work. "They did what we hope all citizens do when called upon," he said.

This ends one of the largest criminal cases in crypto history. The damage done amounted to billions of US dollars - FTX customers alone are said to have lost 8 billion.

The trial lasted just under a month. It revealed a number of horrible business practices in SBF's crypto empire - one more egregious than the other. Some of these were: a billion-dollar hole in FTX's balance sheet, "special privileges" that allowed Alameda to siphon off the crypto exchange's customers' money, accounting fraud, bribery of Chinese government officials or even payments of a million dollars to a company that opened SBF's door to the celebrity world.

Especially surprising: Sam Bankman-Fried testified in his own criminal trial, something quite rare in such cases. In the end, however, this move did not earn him much, as the prosecution used this opportunity to confront the FTX founder about his statements in interviews and on X (formerly Twitter).

SBF Lawsuit 2.0

However, this was just a taste of what the 31-year-old is likely to face in another trial. Originally, U.S. prosecutors accused SBF of a total of 13 charges. Through a deal with the Bahamas, five charges (most of which were allegations of violation of campaign laws) were moved to a separate trial. One charge was dropped. Judge Kaplan set the trial for March 11 next year.

With the conviction, the trial is as good as over. SBF will probably receive a prison sentence either way. However, it remains to be seen whether it will actually end up being 115 years, also because SBF can appeal the sentence.

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