A jury found disgraced cryptocurrency tycoon and Democrat megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of fraud-related charges on Thursday.

Bankman-Fried co-founded and served as CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which collapsed in November amid allegations the company was mishandling billions in customer funds. The Department of Justice indicted Bankman-Fried on seven fraud and conspiracy-related charges in August, alleging he masterminded a scheme to divert the money to fund campaign contributions, donations to charities and real estate acquisitions.

The jury found Bankman-Fried guilty on all seven charges, reaching the verdict after around four hours of deliberations, according to The Messenger. Four of the charges have potential prison sentences of up to 20 years each, but the judge will make the final decision on sentencing.

His sentencing is scheduled for March 28, according to The New York Times.

Bankman-Fried had pleaded not guilty to the August indictment and faces a potential life sentence, according to CNBC.

The Democrat megadonor’s trial began in October and he has been in jail since August after the judge presiding over his case revoked his bail due to alleged witness tampering. Before that, he was under house arrest at his parents’ California home on a $250 million bond after the Bahamas extradited him to the U.S.

Bankman-Fried donated nearly $39 million to back Democrat-aligned causes and was the second-largest individual contributor to such groups during the 2022 midterm election cycle.

The former cryptocurrency CEO “misappropriated and embezzled FTX customer deposits, and used billions of dollars in stolen funds for a variety of purposes, including … to help fund over a hundred million dollars in campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans to seek to influence cryptocurrency regulation,” according to the August indictment against him.

Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend and former CEO of Alameda Research, which is the sister hedge fund to FTX, testified that he instructed her to commit fraud regarding FTX and Alameda’s relationship. She asserted that he established a system to permit Alameda to withdraw unlimited funds from FTX.

“As a result of the spending of customers’ deposits, FTX and Alameda had a multi-billion-dollar deficit of customer funds,” the indictment states.

Bankman-Fried allegedly believed he had a 5% shot of becoming president at some point, Ellison testified.

Jason Cohen on November 2, 2023

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