This scandal has drawn attention of the whole world, no matter if you’ve just started to learn about crypto or are already an ace on the topic. “Even my mom heard that, and she is a no pro!” you might say, and we would totally believe you! The so-called ‘Crypto King,’ Sam Bankman-Fried, once a royal, now faces no royal fate. The culmination of a month-long trial in New York has led to a guilty verdict.

You might be Interested: Sam Bankman-Fried: The Rise and Fall of FTX Founder

Source: Jane Rosenberg. Reuters


After less than five hours of deliberation, the jury pronounced the verdict in New York: Sam Bankman-Fried, the man who once steered one of the world’s most significant cryptocurrency exchanges, is guilty on all seven charges in the FTX fraud trial. This jury decision marks a prominent moment in the history of cryptocurrency. 

The top brass at FTX and Alameda, including the ex-Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang, former Head of Engineering Nishad Singh, and former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, all pleaded guilty. They decided to tell everything for their own sake and pointed at none other than Sam. Even a bunch of ex-employees chimed in, claiming that Bankman-Fried was the conductor of the FTX scandal. 


Wire Fraud (Count 1 and Count 2)

These charges revolve around the use of electronic communication, particularly wire transfers, to defraud individuals or entities. In this case, Bankman-Fried is accused of devising schemes to defraud using electronic communication to execute these schemes. Wire fraud charges are serious, encompassing fraudulent activities conducted over the internet or other electronic communication methods.

Wire Fraud Conspiracy (Count 3 and Count 4)

Wire fraud conspiracy charges display that Bankman-Fried is not only accused of committing wire fraud individually but also of conspiring with others to carry out fraudulent activities using electronic communications. The conspiracy aspect underscores that these alleged fraudulent actions were not isolated but part of a coordinated effort.

Securities Fraud (Count 5)

Securities fraud charges relate to the alleged manipulation or deceitful activities involving financial securities (totally believable). In this charge, Bankman-Fried is accused of engaging in fraudulent practices pertaining to securities, potentially affecting the value or trading of these financial instruments. Securities fraud is a significant charge with far-reaching implications for the financial markets.

Commodities Fraud Conspiracy (Count 6)

This charge suggests that Bankman-Fried participated in a conspiracy to commit fraudulent activities specifically related to commodities, such as cryptocurrencies. The conspiracy aspect implies that there was a coordinated effort to manipulate the commodities market for illicit gains.

Money Laundering Conspiracy (Count 7)

Money laundering conspiracy charges indicate that Bankman-Fried is accused of conspiring to conceal or disguise the origins of illegally obtained funds. Money laundering is often used to legitimize illicit gains, and the conspiracy aspect implies that there was a collaborative effort to undertake these actions.


When asked about his charges, Bankman-Fried said, “I’ve gone from being a ‘Crypto King’ to a ‘Crypto Cling’ to my lawyer” (not really, he didn’t say that). It’s almost as if Mr. Bankman-Fried was auditioning for a role in a Hollywood heist film but forgot its real life with real-life consequences! But in all seriousness, these charges collectively paint a picture of complex financial misdeeds and alleged wrongdoing that spans a range of financial activities, including electronic fraud, manipulation of securities and commodities, and the illegal movement of funds. 

From Billionaire to Behind Bars: All Starts with Letter B

At mere 31 years old, Bankman-Fried’s life trajectory had been the stuff of fantasies. He presided over FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange valued at $32 billion, and bore the title “King of Crypto.” But the dream took a nightmarish turn when FTX declared bankruptcy in November of the prior year, leaving a void of $8 billion in customer funds. 


US attorney Damian Williams, in the aftermath of the verdict, accused Bankman-Fried of orchestrating one of the most colossal financial frauds in American history. The allegations resonated with the jury, who found him guilty of deceit, fraud, and theft on a grand scale. 

Sam Bankman-Fried perpetrated one of the biggest financial frauds in American history – a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the king of crypto. This case has always been about lying, cheating and stealing, and we have no patience for it.

Damian Williams, US attorney. Source: BBC News

It would be no surprise if books on this trial and the story of poor Sam start to fill the shelves of bookstores. The allegations resonated with the jury, who found him guilty of deceit, fraud, and theft on a grand scale.

In response to the verdict, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, expressed disappointment but vowed to persist in the battle to prove his client’s innocence (an honorable yet kinda crazy decision). While acknowledging mistakes, Bankman-Fried’s defense rested on asserting that he had acted in good faith. As if!

Decades in Jail Await

The guilty verdict brings the stark reality of potential decades in jail for poor Sam. Five charges carry a maximum prison term of 20 years, with two additional charges that could result in a five-year sentence. While it’s unlikely the judge will impose the complete 110-year sentence, this story was unlikely to happen from the start so everything is possible for now.


Finita la Comedia

This story is a reminder for all of us that even the most prominent players can face the consequences of their actions. As the industry grapples with its own challenges and controversies, this trial may serve as a turning point, prompting renewed scrutiny and the pursuit of tighter regulations. The story of Sam Bankman-Fried, once a star and now a prisoner-star, is a reminder of the challenges and controversies within the industry of crypto. 

You Might Also Want to Know:

Disclaimer: All materials on this site are for informational purposes only. None of the material should be interpreted as investment advice. Please note that despite the nature of much of the material created and hosted on this website, HODL FM is not a financial reference resource and the opinions of authors and other contributors are their own and should not be taken as financial advice. If you require advice of this sort, HODL FM strongly recommends contacting a qualified industry professional.