FTX Update: SBF Extradited and Released on Bail, Ellison and Wang Plead Guilty
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Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday
- Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been extradited to the US to face fraud charges in New York.
- SBF has been released on $250 million bail, secured by the equity in his parents’ home, with certain restrictions on his freedom, including limits on financial transactions and a requirement to undergo substance-abuse and mental-health treatment. Note that the $250 million bail is not paid in full but in a form of pledge that will be paid in full should SBF violate the bond requirements.
- Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang have both pleaded guilty to charges related to FTX’s collapse, including manipulation of the price of the exchange’s token, FTT. They are cooperating with investigators and have entered agreements that may allow for potential prosecution immunity in exchange for full cooperation with the investigation.
After signing the extradition papers on December 20, 2022, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was finally extradited back to the United States to face fraud charges in New York.
What happened during SBF’s extradition to the US?
“Today the Foreign Minister, who is the Minister responsible for the Extradition Act, signed the Warrant of Surrender for Sam Bankman-Fried. This allows the extradition of the subject to the United States of America,” a statement read.
Although SBF previously expressed his intent to fight extradition during his first hearing, as per the statement released by Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder, the former CEO had waived his rights to challenge the extradition. The founder has been held by the Bahamian authorities without bail at Fox Hill prison since his arrest.
“The United States requested that a provisional arrest warrant be issued for SBF in anticipation of his extradition pursuant to an extradition treaty between the two nations. After the arrest, SBF subsequently waived his right to challenge his extradition to the United States,” another statement from The Bahamas read. “The Bahamas has determined that the provisional arrest, and subsequent written consent by SBF to be extradited without formal extradition proceedings satisfies the requirements of the treaty and our nation’s Extradition Act.”
SBF Released on $250M Bail
After his extradition from the Bahamas, SBF appeared in U.S. federal court and was released on the judge’s set bail of $250 million. The bail was secured by the equity in his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California. Note that the $250 million bail is not paid in full but in a form of pledge that will be paid in full should SBF violate the bond requirements.
According to an agreement, SBF’s freedom must abide by limits such as he is not allowed to make financial transactions for more than $1,000, he cannot open new lines of credit, he cannot leave the house except to exercise, and he must go through substance-abuse and mental-health treatment.
Ellison and Wang Guilty Plead
Aside from SBF, two other executives from his previous crypto empire, Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang, have pleaded guilty to charges tied to FTX’s collapse.
The two former heads were also charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for their participation in manipulating the price of FTX’s token, FTT.
According to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, Ellison and Wang are both cooperating with investigators.
As per the statement released by SEC Deputy Enforcement Director Sanjay Wadhwa, the two, along with SBF, “were active participants in a scheme to conceal material information from FTX investors, including through the efforts of Mr. Bankman-Fried and Ms. Ellison to artificially prop up the value of FTT, which served as collateral for undisclosed loans that Alameda took out from FTX pursuant to its undisclosed, and virtually unlimited, line of credit.”
“By surreptitiously siphoning FTX’s customer funds onto the books of Alameda, defendants hid the very real risks that FTX’s investors and customers faced,” Wadhwa added.
Ellison’s Bail and Plea Agreement
Following her guilty plea, Ellison entered into an agreement where she will not be further prosecuted criminally—except for possible criminal tax violations with regard to the wire and commodity fraud charges that resulted in the FTX and Alameda fiascos—as long as she fully cooperates with the investigation.
She will also be able to get out on bail on a $250,000 personal recognizance bond and restrict travel to the continental United States.
Moreover, given that Ellison is not a U.S. citizen, the plea mentioned that it is very likely that her removal from the U.S. will be mandatory.
Timeline of the FTX collapse covered by BitPinas:
- Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) announced that it is set to liquidate its own FTX Tokens ($FTT) after a Coindesk article revealed that Alameda, FTX’s sister company, rests largely on FTT and not on any independent asset. [Read: Just House Cleaning: Binance To Liquidate Own FTX Tokens]
- CZ revealed that his company has signed a “letter of intent” to acquire FTX Exchange. [Read: BREAKING: Binance Signs Deal to Acquire FTX Exchange]
- FTT went into freefall and lost most of its value (about 80%) [Read: FTX Token Price Drops 80% as News of Binance Buying FTX Surface]
- CZ denied that there is any kind of “conspiracy” against FTX, or that he’s in a “fight” with its CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. [Read: Binance CEO Denies FTX Conspiracy]
- Binance backed out of its deal to purchase FTX because “the issues are beyond our control or ability to help.”[Read: Binance Will No Longer Acquire FTX]
- BlockFi files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, weeks after the collapse of FTX, which previously signed a term sheet to provide credit to the embattled crypto lender last June. [Read: What Happened? BlockFi Files for Bankruptcy Amid FTX Crypto Contagion]
- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has confirmed that it has asked locally licensed cryptocurrency exchanges about their exposure to FTX’s downfall, exchanges then clarified that none was affected by the downfall. [Read: Report: BSP Asks Local VASPs of FTX Exposure, Exchanges Respond]
- SBF has been arrested by Bahamian authorities in relation to the collapse of his founded exchange, a CNBC report revealed. [Read: BREAKING: FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested]
- After his arrest, he was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the US SEC for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and campaign finance violations. [Read: Days After SBF’s Arrest, What Happened Next?]
This article is published on BitPinas: FTX Update: SBF Extradited and Released on Bail, Ellison and Wang Plead Guilty
Feature photo from Gerad Tod
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