Federal prosecutors in Manhattan unsealed an eight count indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried on Tuesday morning, a day after the crypto entrepreneur was arrested in the Bahamas.
The indictment charged Mr. Bankman-Fried with securities fraud, wire fraud and several conspiracy counts involving money laundering and campaign finance violations. The 13-page filing said Mr. Bankman-Fried and others engaged in a scheme that began back in 2019 to defraud customers of the FTX crypto exchange and lenders to Alameda Research, a crypto trading platform that was closely tied to FTX.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan filed charges only against Mr. Bankman-Fried. But the indictment suggests some of his associates at FTX may also face charges at some point. It’s also possible that some may be cooperating with the investigation.
Mark Cohen, a lawyer for Mr. Bankman-Fried, said his client was “reviewing the charges with his legal team and considering all of his legal options.”
The criminal indictment is less detailed than a civil securities fraud complaint filed on Tuesday morning by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The S.E.C. complaint focused on misrepresentations that Mr. Bankman-Fried had made to big investors who invested nearly $2 billion in the exchange. Securities regulators also said that customer money deposited with FTX for trading crypto had long been commingled with money at Alameda and misused by Mr. Bankman-Fried.
The indictment also charges that Mr. Bankman-Fried lied to his investors and customers. But it includes a new allegation that he lied to lenders — often other crypto trading firms — that provided financing to Alameda. Federal prosecutors in the indictment said Mr. Bankman-Fried committed wire fraud by obtaining those big loans and “providing false and misleading information” to the lenders about Alameda’s financial condition.
Prosecutors also charge that Mr. Bankman-Fried conspired with others to violate federal campaign finance laws by making contributions in the names of other people in violation of reporting requirements.
Mr. Bankman-Fried and FTX were major political donors in the last federal election cycle.
Here is the indictment: