The FTX/Alameda saga continues, with news late Wednesday that two key Sam Bankman-Fried employees have been indicted and charged with federal criminal offenses in the US: both former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang plead guilty to multiple charges and accepted plea deals offering a reduced sentence in exchange for assistance with ongoing investigations into FTX/Alameda misconduct that are found to be “substantial.”
Meanwhile, Sam Bankman-Fried was also extradited to the US from the Bahamas on Wednesday, where he was charged by the SEC and CFTC with fraud and federal criminal charges. When New York’s Southern District Attorney Damian Williams announced the charges at a press event last week, he noted that his office was “not done” with regard to imposing additional charges, and now we know that Ellison and Wang at least some of the individuals he was referring to at the time.
Ellison and Wang are likely key witnesses for the FBI in the SBF case, given that they most likely have the direct and best knowledge SBF knew of using FTX client funds to back Alameda’s high-risk crypto trading bets.
This may not be the end of the charges for individuals at FTX and Alameda either — Williams reiterated during the press conference that the charges against Ellison and Wang were announced that if anyone else considers coming forward to assist authorities in their prosecution of the case in exchange for any clemency, now is the time.
Both Ellison and Wang also face civil penalties from the SEC and CFTC, announced in addition to the criminal charges.