A jury in a US court on Thursday found the founder of the bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange Sam Bankman-Fried guilty in a billion-dollar embezzlement case, which prosecutors said was one of the largest frauds in the history of the United States. The 31-year-old businessman now faces decades behind bars, the AP agency reported.
The verdict was delivered by a 12-member jury in federal court in Manhattan quickly after it began deliberating on Thursday afternoon local time. She pleaded guilty to Bankman-Fried on all seven counts after a month-long trial. According to prosecutors, before the collapse of his companies in November 2022, he defrauded thousands of customers and defrauded them of billions of dollars, which he used for investments, real estate, promoting his stock market and contributions to politicians.
Bankman-Fried testified in court for three days. He argued to the jury that he did not commit fraud. The businessman, who has been in custody since August, will hear the amount of the sentence on March 28, 2024, Reuters reported. His defense attorneys are expected to appeal the verdict.
The US authorities described the FTX case as one of the biggest frauds in US history. FTX was the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world before it collapsed in November 2022 and was the gateway to the digital asset market for millions of people. Bankman-Fried admitted at the time that he was at fault in driving and that he could not prevent the FTX from falling. But he denied that he wanted to cheat anyone.