FTXing fraudsters: Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang plead guilty to their part in the FTX scandal; SBF is US bound
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While cooperating with the Feds, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang – key figures in the FTX platform implosion debacle – have now pleaded guilty to charges of fraud.
Attorney Damian Williams and the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Department of Justice (DOJ) have today made an announcement on the matter. It reveals that the US government has filed fraud charges against FTX co-founder Zixiao (Gary) Wang and Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison.
“Both [Ellison and Wang] have pleaded guilty to [the] charges,” said Williams at a press conference. “And they are both cooperating with the [SDNY]. Let me reiterate a call that I made last week. If you participated in misconduct at FTX or Alameda, now is the time to get ahead of it.”
Williams further added that “[law enforcement] is moving quickly and our patience is not eternal.”
Ellison has pleaded guilty to seven counts relating to wire fraud and Wang has pleaded guilty to four. In total, Ellison’s fraud counts carry a maximum sentence of 110 years in prison, while Wang could be facing up to 50 years.
Statement of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams on U.S. v. Samuel Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison, and Gary Wang pic.twitter.com/u1y4cs3Koz
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) December 22, 2022
Meanwhile, FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has now left the supposed hell hole that is Fox Hill prison in the Bahamas, and is being extradited to the United States in the custody of the FBI.
SBF is “on his way back to the United States,” confirmed Williams, adding that the disgraced FTX founder will be transported to the SDNY district in order to appear before a judge “as soon as possible”.
SBF is reportedly staring down the barrel of 165 years in jail if he’s found guilty of all charges thrown his way by US government departments. Those charges include money laundering, wire fraud, securities fraud, and campaign finance violations.
game over for the biggest fraudster of our generation. pic.twitter.com/z9X1ag2Ldb
— Coffeezilla (@coffeebreak_YT) December 22, 2022
— Ivan Petrov (@IvanPet45963981) December 22, 2022
And, if that wasn’t a large enough book tossed at their heads from the DOJ, Ellison and Wang are also facing charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
“Ellison, at the direction of Bankman-Fried, furthered the scheme by manipulating the price of FTT, an FTX-issued exchange crypto security token, by purchasing large quantities on the open market to prop up its price,” reads the SEC press statement.
“FTT served as collateral for undisclosed loans by FTX of its customers’ assets to Alameda, a crypto hedge fund owned by Wang and Bankman-Fried and run by Ellison.”
The SEC also confirmed that Ellison and Wang are cooperating with the SEC’s FTX investigation.
The SEC today charged Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang for their roles in a multiyear scheme to defraud equity investors in the crypto trading platform FTX. Ellison and Wang are cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
— U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (@SECGov) December 22, 2022
Meanwhile, the CFTC’s charges allege that Wang added special features to FTX’s code to help financially benefit Alameda Research.
Sounds like some “shadowy super coder” activity right there. US Republican Senator and Crypto Hater in Chief Elizabeth Warren must be foaming at the mouth with “I told you so” schadenfraude right about now.
“As alleged in the amended complaint, Wang created features in the code underlying the FTX trading platform that allowed Alameda to maintain an essentially unlimited line of credit on FTX,” said the CFTC today, adding:
“Ellison and Wang do not contest their liability on the CFTC’s claims. Both have agreed to the entry of consent orders of judgment as to their liability for engaging in fraud in violation of Section 6(c)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulation 180.1.”
Two months ago, SBF was debating the future of crypto policy and nobody knew FTX was a sham.
One month ago, SBF was apologizing for losing billions and everyone worried he might get away with fraud.
Today, SBF is in FBI custody and his chief co-conspirators have pleaded guilty.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) December 22, 2022
Here is Caroline Ellison of Alameda Research who has just plead guilt to the charges by the SEC, SDNY, and CFTC, and has said that at Alameda they did not "tend to have things like stop losses… I think those are not necessarily good risk management tools." pic.twitter.com/Ktts73GsMq
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) December 22, 2022