Sam Bankman-Fried, the founding father of the collapsed FTX cryptocurrency change, is about to face trial, after a yearlong company saga that has made headlines all over the world and devastated the digital asset trade.

Right here’s what to find out about his case.

Federal prosecutors have charged Mr. Bankman-Fried with orchestrating an enormous scheme to siphon billions of {dollars} of FTX buyer cash into political contributions, actual property purchases, charitable donations and enterprise investments. He’s additionally accused of mendacity to his enterprise capital backers and to the businesses that lent FTX cash.

The scheme was uncovered in November when a run on deposits pressured FTX to close down withdrawals, with greater than $8 billion in buyer funds lacking. 5 weeks later, prosecutors in Manhattan charged Mr. Bankman-Fried with eight counts, together with wire fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, cash laundering and marketing campaign finance violations.

Prosecutors later dropped the marketing campaign finance cost, so Mr. Bankman-Fried faces solely seven counts. After his arrest, the prosecutors additionally accused him of further crimes, together with financial institution fraud and bribery of a international authorities, however these new fees have been punted to a potential second trial, scheduled for March.

Mr. Bankman-Fried oversaw two core companies: FTX and a hedge fund referred to as Alameda Analysis.

FTX served as a market for folks to purchase and promote digital currencies; they may deposit {dollars} after which spend them on Bitcoin, Ether or lots of of different newfangled cash, storing their financial savings on the platform. In some international locations, clients might additionally borrow funds from FTX to extend bets on crypto costs, a dangerous sort of buying and selling that was banned in the US.

Alameda was, no less than in principle, merely a big buyer of FTX that used the platform to commerce digital currencies. However in line with prosecutors, Mr. Bankman-Fried allowed Alameda to borrow a just about limitless quantity from FTX after which funneled a lot of that cash into different initiatives. For instance, regulators say, Alameda used buyer funds to make massive loans to FTX executives, who spent the cash on political donations.

It’s not solely clear. However after FTX filed for chapter, Mr. Bankman-Fried blamed an accounting error that he stated had brought about billions of {dollars} of consumer funds to fade with out his data. He has additionally blamed his Alameda colleagues for failing to institute correct danger administration protocols. And in authorized filings, his attorneys have stated they plan to argue that two massive regulation corporations licensed most of his actions at FTX.

Mr. Bankman-Fried faces an uphill battle in court docket. His three closest colleagues — Alameda’s chief govt, Caroline Ellison, and two FTX co-founders, Nishad Singh and Gary Wang — all pleaded responsible to fraud fees and agreed to cooperate in opposition to him. (A fourth govt, Ryan Salame, pleaded responsible with out signing a cooperation settlement.)

The choose overseeing the case, Lewis A. Kaplan, has repeatedly sided with the prosecution in procedural disputes main as much as the trial, rejecting a slate of knowledgeable witnesses the protection had hoped to name. Since August, Mr. Bankman-Fried has needed to put together his case from a jail cell in Brooklyn after Decide Kaplan revoked his bail, ruling that he had repeatedly tried to intervene with witnesses.

It’s slated to final six weeks, in line with court docket filings.

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