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Two associates of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried agree to plea deals

A federal prosecutor announced Wednesday night that two associates of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried had agreed to plea deals on criminal charges related to the collapse of the cryptocurency exchange. Word of the deals came on the same day Bankman-Fried told a court in the Bahamas he’d agreed to be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges related to the FTX scandal.

Carolyn Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, a trading firm started by Bankman-Fried, and Gary Wang, who co-founded FTX along with Bankman-Fried, pleaded guilty in the Southern District of New York to charges “related to their roles in the fraud that contributed to FTX’s collapse,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Wednesday night.

In agreements signed with prosecutors on Monday, Ellison and Wang agreed to plead guilty to charges including wire fraud, securities fraud and commodities fraud.

“Gary has accepted responsibility for his actions and takes seriously his obligations as a cooperating witness,” an attorney for Wang told CBS News in a statement. 

The  Securities and Exchange Commission also announced civil charges against Ellison and Wang Wednesday.

Bankman-Fried appeared at a Bahamian Magistrate’s Court Wednesday and then was taken back to prison, where he awaited a plane to take him to the U.S., according to Bahamian news organization Our News. A source familiar with the situation told CBS News he was expected to depart for the U.S. Wednesday night.

Bahamian authorities arrested Bankman-Fried last week at the request of the U.S. government. U.S. prosecutors allege he played a central role in the rapid collapse of FTX and hid its problems from the public and investors. The SEC said Bankman-Fried illegally used investors’ money to buy real estate on behalf of himself and his family.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried charged in “years-long” fraud scheme


The 30-year-old could potentially spend the rest of his life in jail.

In media interviews, Bankman-Fried — the son of two Stanford professors and a prolific political donor — has maintained that he erred in his running of FTX, but that he didn’t commit fraud.

Bankman-Fried was denied bail Friday after a Bahamian judge ruled that he posed a flight risk. The founder and former CEO of FTX, once worth tens of billions of dollars on paper, was being held in the Bahamas’ Fox Hill prison, which has been cited by human rights activists as having poor sanitation and being infested with rats and insects.

Once he’s back in the U.S., Bankman-Fried’s attorney will be able to request that he be released on bail.

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