NEW YORK (Diya TV) – Former FTX CEO and co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been found guilty on all seven counts in a high-profile case involving fraud and money laundering. This verdict comes after a five-week trial that delved into the collapse of FTX and its affiliated trading firm, Alameda Research, approximately a year ago. The U.S. Department of Justice had charged the 31-year-old Bankman-Fried about 11 months ago.

The jury took just four hours to reach a unanimous verdict, finding Bankman-Fried guilty on six counts related to fraud and one count related to money laundering. Bankman-Fried, once at the pinnacle of the cryptocurrency industry, saw his reputation plummet after a faulty Alameda balance sheet was exposed by CoinDesk in November 2022. The revelation caused widespread panic and concerns about FTX’s liquidity.

As the story unfolded, it became evident that the issue was far more substantial than initially believed. The executives behind the now-bankrupt FTX and Alameda were accused of misappropriating over $8 billion in customer funds.

In his defense, Bankman-Fried testified that he did not defraud FTX customers or misappropriate their funds but claimed that Alameda had “borrowed” money from the exchange. However, prosecutors argued that Bankman-Fried had made false promises and was responsible for the loss of billions of dollars for thousands of FTX investors. The court and jury have now affirmed the Department of Justice’s indictment from December 2022.

The seven charges collectively carry a potential sentence of 115 years in prison for the defendant. This verdict marks a significant milestone in a case that has sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency industry.

Nishad Singh, the former director of engineering at FTX, testified during the trial, shedding light on how Bankman-Fried spent vast sums of money on real estate, venture investments, campaign donations, and celebrity endorsements. Singh revealed his concerns about the company’s lavish spending to Bankman-Fried, even describing it as “excessive” and “flashy.”

Singh, Gary Wang, co-founder and CTO of FTX and Caroline Ellison, CEO of Alameda, all pleaded guilty to charges in November 2022.

All three took the stand to testify against Bankman-Fried as a part of their cooperation agreements with the U.S. government in exchange for more-lenient sentences.

Wang, Ellison and Singh are facing up to 50, 110 and 75 years in prison, respectively.

The case has emphasized how the alleged misuse of customer funds led to FTX’s financial instability and the company’s inability to pay back its customers. Prosecutors have aimed to illustrate that Bankman-Fried played a central role in directing FTX and Alameda’s investments and that he ignored objections from team members, making large investments to gain access to influential figures in various industries.