FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted of multiple fraud and conspiracy charges Thursday, bringing an end to a month-long trial in which prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried of stealing and using billions of dollars from his own customers.
Bankman-Fried, 31, was found guilty of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy and faces a maximum possible sentence of up to 110 years in prison.
Jurors in Manhattan federal court returned the verdict after less than five hours of deliberation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos said in his closing argument there was “no serious dispute” that $10 billion worth of customers’ money went missing from FTX’s crypto exchange, according to NBC News, adding that the main issue was whether Bankman-Fried acted with criminal intent.
Bankman-Fried’s defense attorney, Mark Cohen, said Wednesday the prosecution was trying to paint his client as a movie villain and argued that Bankman-Fried’s business collapsed through no fault of his own.
“We respect the jury’s decision. But we are very disappointed with the result,” Cohen said in a statement. “Mr. Bankman Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him.”
Bankman-Fried, who pleaded not guilty to all of his charges, was first charged in late 2022 with money laundering and multiple fraud counts. The charges revolved around allegations that Bankman-Fried was putting customers’ money into FTX’s sister trading firm, Alameda Research. The disgraced cryptocurrency executive resigned from FTX about a month before he was hit with the charges. At the same time, FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy while attempting to pay back investors, customers and creditors—a decision the exchange took after experiencing a liquidity crisis caused by a selloff of its own tokens.