2 of SBF's Pals Secretly Pleaded Guilty

Meanwhile, Sam Bankman-Fried has been extradited to US
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 22, 2022 1:34 AM CST
Updated Dec 22, 2022 5:03 AM CST
Associates of FTX Founder Secretly Pleaded Guilty
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, center, is escorted from a Corrections Department van as he arrives at the Magistrate Court building for a hearing, in Nassau, Bahamas, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Two of Sam Bankman-Fried's top associates secretly pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and are cooperating with investigators, a federal prosecutor announced Wednesday as the digital coin entrepreneur was being flown in FBI custody to the US from the Bahamas, the AP reports. Carolyn Ellison, the 28-year-old former CEO of Alameda Research, a trading firm started by Bankman-Fried, and Gary Wang, the 29-year-old who co-founded FTX, pleaded guilty to charges including wire fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud. “They are both cooperating with the Southern District of New York,” US Attorney Damian Williams said Wednesday night in a video statement released on social media.

He added that anyone else who participated in the fraud should reach out to his office because “our patience is not eternal" and further criminal charges against others were possible. The surprise guilty pleas were announced as Bankman-Fried was being extradited from the Bahamas by US law enforcement to answer to charges tied to his role in FTX's failure. He landed in New York Wednesday night, per Fox Business, and was expected to appear in a federal court in New York City on Thursday. It was unclear whether Bankman-Fried, who has apologized for FTX's collapse but denied defrauding anyone, was in the dark regarding Ellison's and Wang's plea deals.

(More Sam Bankman-Fried stories.)

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