Sam Bankman-Fried Associates Plead Guilty to Charges in FTX Collapse

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Two associates of failed FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried have pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange.

Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, who co-founded FTX along with Bankman-Fried, pleaded guilty to charges in connection with “their roles in the fraud that contributed to FTX’s collapse,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Damian Williams announced on Dec. 22.

Both Ellison, 28, and Wang, 29, pleaded guilty to several counts including wire fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud in agreements signed with prosecutors earlier this month in return for leniency in their sentences.

They are cooperating with investigators, Williams said.

He added that anyone else who participated in misconduct at FTX or Alameda Research should reach out to his office and “get ahead of it,” noting that “we are moving quickly and our patience is not eternal.”

Ellison pleaded guilty to seven counts, including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, according to her plea agreement signed on Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Wang pleaded guilty to four counts, including wire fraud.

Wang ‘Has Accepted Responsibility for His Actions’

Without the deal signed with prosecutors, Ellison, who also faces a money laundering conspiracy charge, could face up to 110 years behind bars. Wang, a former Google engineer, could get up to 50 years.

Both were released on $250,000 bail after their privately-held court appearances with travel restricted to the continental United States.

Ilan Graff, a lawyer for Wang, said in a statement, “Gary has accepted responsibility for his actions and takes seriously his obligations as a cooperating witness.”

The Epoch Times has contacted an attorney for Ellison for comment.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that it has charged Wang and Ellison for their “roles in a multiyear scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX” adding that “investigations into other securities law violations and into other entities and persons relating to the alleged misconduct are ongoing.”

By Katabella Roberts

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