National News Desk

Sam Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend, FTX co-founder plead guilty to criminal charges

Crypto Exchange FTX Grapples With 'Liquidity Crunch' As Binance Deal Fades
Leon Neal/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Sam Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend and the co-founder of FTX have each pleaded guilty to criminal charges and are cooperating with prosecutors, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Wednesday.

Caroline Ellison, CEO of Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s privately-controlled hedge fund, and Gary Wang, co-founder of FTX, pleaded guilty earlier this week, according to newly unsealed court documents.

Ellison pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on customers of FTX, wire fraud on customers of FTX, conspiracy to commit wire fraud on lenders of Alameda Research and wire fraud on lenders of Alameda Research, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the court documents.

Together, the seven counts carry a maximum sentence of 110 years in prison.

Wang pleaded guilty to four counts: conspiracy to commit wire fraud on customers of FTX, wire fraud on customers of FTX, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, the court documents stated. He faces up to 50 years in prison.

Wang’s attorney, Ilan Graff, who is a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, said in a statement: “Gary has accepted responsibility for his actions and takes seriously his obligations as a cooperating witness.”

Word of the guilty pleas and cooperation agreements came after Bankman-Fried took off from the Bahamas aboard a U.S. government plane flying to New York, where he is expected to be arraigned Thursday on an eight-count indictment that charges him with orchestrating one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.

Williams made the announcement in a videotaped message shared with ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.