Sam Bankman-Fried, a former rising star of cryptocurrencies with his FTX platform and his company Alameda, was charged this Tuesday by the US court for having defrauded his clients and investors.
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Arrêté mondi aux Bahamas à la demande des États-Unis, il est poursuivi au total de huit chefs d’accusation, dont fraud par voie électronique, blanchiment d’argent et violation des lois electorales, selon l’acte dévoilé par le procureur fédéral de New York.
Also processed by the financial market regulators, it must be presented this Tuesday before the justice of the archipelago.
Mr. Bankman-Fried is accused of having used, since FTX’s inception in 2019, money deposited by clients who wanted to speculate in cryptocurrencies to finance the activity – and risky bets – of his brokerage firm and Alameda Investment.
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He is also accused of having lied to the investors who lent money to Alameda about the true financial health of the company.
He “built a house of cards based on deception,” Gary Gensler, chairman of Wall Street’s SEC regulator, said in a press release.
The stock market policeman, who questions the more than 1.8 billion dollars FTX has raised from investors since at least May 2019, claims in particular that “SBF” be prohibited from buying or selling financial securities (except his personal account) and that can no longer exercise management functions.
The US agency responsible for derivatives (CFTC) has also filed a complaint accusing the businessman of fraud and misrepresentation.
“SBF” had been making media appearances for a month, despite the risk of a fraud lawsuit after the spectacular implosion of the company, valued at 32,000 million dollars at the beginning of the year.
The United States has “filed a complaint” against the 30-year-old, who resides in the Bahamas, and “will likely request his extradition,” Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder said in a press release posted on Twitter. .
Both countries “have an interest in holding accountable individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed public trust and violated the law,” said Philip Davis, prime minister of Cuba’s north-eastern archipelago.
The Bahamas will conduct its own “criminal investigation into the collapse of FTX,” he added, quoted in the statement.
In the United States, “if convicted of fraud, you could spend the rest of your life in prison, given the amount,” said Jacob Frenkel of Dickinson Wright.
“There would be no prosecution if the prosecutors were not absolutely convinced that they will get a conviction,” added this specialist in federal investigations, who worked for the US Securities Police (SEC).
Sam Bankman-Fried was supposed to speak before a House committee on Tuesday, as was John Ray, the new head of FTX.
Former executives at the bankrupt platform showed a “total failure” at all levels of control, spending without actually counting their clients’ money, John Ray said Monday, in a document released on the eve of the congressional hearing.
At first glance, “the collapse of the FTX group appears to be the result of the absolute concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals, who have not implemented any of the systems or controls necessary for a business to that he is entrusted with other people’s money or property,” the official said.
Considered one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, FTX was suddenly unable to return money their clients had deposited there in early November.
The group announced its bankruptcy filing on November 11.
The ex-muse of cryptocurrencies has chosen to multiply the interviews and speeches on Twitter, despite the seriousness of the accusations against her.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the son of Stanford University law professors, he had managed to legitimize cryptocurrencies with the general public and the political class.
But his contrite air and hesitant tone during his latest speeches stand in stark contrast to the reassuring image he has built for himself in recent years.
“It was a very risky strategy,” says Jacob Frenkel. In the end, it is “as if he had admitted that he behaved criminally.”
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