The trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried continued in Manhattan federal court as former executive Caroline Ellison testified against him. Ellison accused Bankman-Fried of directing her to commit crimes before his cryptocurrency empire collapsed last November. Bankman-Fried, who has pleaded not guilty, could face decades in prison if convicted.
During her testimony, Ellison admitted to committing fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and money laundering alongside Bankman-Fried and others. She stated that Bankman-Fried had directed her to commit these crimes. Ellison’s testimony followed two days of testimony from Gary Wang, another key figure in Bankman-Fried’s inner circle, who also testified under a plea agreement.
Bankman-Fried, once one of the world’s wealthiest individuals with an estimated net worth of $32 billion, saw his cryptocurrency businesses collapse as investors and customers sought to empty their accounts. Prosecutors alleged that stolen funds were used to fund his businesses, make donations, and contribute to political campaigns in an attempt to influence cryptocurrency regulation.
Bankman-Fried’s appearance has changed significantly in recent months, with weight loss and a trimmed hairstyle. He has been in jail since August after being accused of attempting to influence potential trial witnesses. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan revoked his $250 million bond and ordered his confinement to his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California.