Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX cofounder Gary Wang — two top executives of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire — have pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams announced.
In a statement, Williams said that both Ellison and Wang, two of Bankman-Fried’s closest advisors, are cooperating with prosecutors. He urged other individuals involved in the collapsed crypto firm to come forward before charges might be brought and said that “our patience is not eternal.”
“We continue to work around the clock, and we are far from done,” he warned.
Ellison’s plea agreement stipulates that she will provide a $250,000 personal recognizance bond and forfeit her travel documents as a prerequisite for bail. Upon completion of full cooperation with the SDNY investigation and other assigned law enforcement agencies, criminal charges can be dropped — except those concerning wire and commodity fraud in connection to mixing FTX and Alameda funds.
At the same time, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed civil charges against both Ellison and Wang, alleging that they defrauded investors. The SEC noted that the two of them settled. If approved by a judge, they will have to give up the money they made from FTX and Alameda. Additionally, they would be banned from the issuance, purchase, offer, or sale of any securities, except for their own personal investment accounts.
Even though the case has unfolded with unprecedented velocity, it is not yet known what punishments Bankman-Fried, Ellison, and Wang will face for their actions. Meanwhile, SBF is in U.S. custody and will soon appear in court for a hearing.