NEW YORK, USA – A federal grand jury in Manhattan returned an indictment Tuesday charging Samuel Bankman-Fried, aka SBF, 30, of Stanford, California, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission and commit campaign finance violations.
The charges in the indictment arise from an alleged wide-ranging scheme by Bankman-Fried to misappropriate billions of dollars of customer funds deposited with FTX, the international cryptocurrency exchange founded by Bankman-Fried, and mislead investors and lenders to FTX and to Alameda Research, the cryptocurrency hedge fund also founded by Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried was arrested yesterday in The Bahamas on these charges and will be presented before a Bahamian magistrate judge [today].
“The Justice Department has filed charges alleging that Samuel Bankman-Fried perpetrated a range of offenses in a global scheme to deceive and defraud customers and lenders of FTX and Alameda, the defendant’s crypto hedge fund, as well as a conspiracy to defraud the United States government,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.
“We allege that the defendant conspired to defraud customers by misappropriating their deposits; to defraud lenders; to commit securities fraud and money laundering; and to violate campaign finance laws. As this indictment demonstrates, the US Department of Justice will aggressively investigate and prosecute alleged criminal wrongdoing in the financial system and violations of federal elections laws. We will continue to work to ensure US capital markets operate honestly and with the integrity that investors, lenders, and the American people are entitled to.”
“One month ago, FTX collapsed, causing billions of dollars in losses to its customers, lenders, and investors,” said US Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York. “Now, a federal grand jury in New York has indicted the former founder and chief executive officer of FTX and charged him with crimes related to the phenomenal downfall of that one-time cryptocurrency exchange, including fraud on customers, investors, lenders, and our campaign finance system. As today’s charges make clear, this was not a case of mismanagement or poor oversight, but of intentional fraud, plain and simple.”
“As the indictment today alleges, Bankman-Fried knowingly defrauded the customers of FTX.com through the misappropriation of the customer deposits to pay expenses and debts of a different company he also owned as well as make other investments,” said Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI New York Field Office. “If you deceive and defraud your customers, the FBI will be persistent in our efforts to bring you to justice.”
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