"Risk Of Flight Too Great" - Bankman-Fried Denied Bail, Remanded To Custody

Update (1700ET): Following his arrest last night, with its expectations of an imminent deportation, Sam Bankman-Fried told a Bahamian judge at an arraignment Tuesday that he wouldn’t waive his right to an extradition hearing.

A defense lawyer said Bankman-Fried planned to fight being sent to the US.

Counsel for SBF has requested bail be set at $250,000.

"Risk Of Flight Too Great" - Bankman-Fried Denied Bail, Remanded To Custody

Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams called the case “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history” and said the investigation of the alleged scheme is “very much ongoing.”

Which may explain why presiding judge JoyAnn Ferguson-Pratt denied SBF's bail application, highlighting his "risk of flight" and ordered the crypto executive to be held in custody at the Bahamas Department of Corrections until Feb. 8.

The case has been adjourned to the said date. 

"Risk Of Flight Too Great" - Bankman-Fried Denied Bail, Remanded To Custody
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission said it will file charges against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on Tuesday relating to violations of securities law, accusing him of "orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX" and seeking to ban him from the cryptocurrency industry.

"We allege that Sam Bankman-Fried built a house of cards on a foundation of deception while telling investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto," said SEC Chair Gary Gensler

The SEC made the announcement on Monday, shortly after Bahamian authorities arrest Bankman-Fried, the US Attorney's Office Southern District of New York confirmed.

The SEC has charged Bankman-Fried with violating the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC’s complaint seeks injunctions against future securities law violation that prohibits Bankman-Fried from participating in the issuance, purchase, offer, or sale of any securities except for his own personal account.

SEC charged Bankman-Fried for orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX Trading Ltd. (FTX). The regulatory body noted that the former CEO concealed his "diversion of FTX customers’ funds to crypto trading firm Alameda Research while raising more than $1.8 billion from investors."

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Plaintiff: SECURITIES AND ) EXCHANGE COMMISSION,

Defendant: SAMUEL BANKMAN-FRIED Plaintiff Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”), for its complaint against Defendant, Samuel Bankman-Fried (“Bankman-Fried”), alleges as follows:

SUMMARY

1. From at least May 2019 through November 2022, Bankman-Fried engaged in a scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX Trading Ltd. (“FTX”), the crypto asset trading platform of which he was CEO and co-founder, at the same time that he was also defrauding the platform’s customers. Bankman-Fried raised more than $1.8 billion from investors, including U.S. investors, who bought an equity stake in FTX believing that FTX had appropriate controls and risk management measures. Unbeknownst to those investors (and to FTX’s trading customers), Bankman-Fried was orchestrating a massive, years-long fraud, diverting billions of dollars of the trading platform’s customer funds for his own personal benefit and to help grow his crypto empire.

2. Throughout this period, Bankman-Fried portrayed himself as a responsible leader of the crypto community. He touted the importance of regulation and accountability. He told the public, including investors, that FTX was both innovative and responsible. Customers around the world believed his lies, and sent billions of dollars to FTX, believing their assets were secure on the FTX trading platform. But from the start, Bankman-Fried improperly diverted customer assets to his privately-held crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research LLC (“Alameda”), and then used those customer funds to make undisclosed venture investments, lavish real estate purchases, and large political donations.

3. Bankman-Fried hid all of this from FTX’s equity investors, including U.S. investors, from whom he sought to raise billions of dollars in additional funds. He repeatedly cast FTX as an innovative and conservative trailblazer in the crypto markets. He told investors and prospective investors that FTX had top-notch, sophisticated automated risk measures in place to protect customer assets, that those assets were safe and secure, and that Alameda was just another platform customer with no special privileges. These statements were false and misleading. In truth, Bankman-Fried had exempted Alameda from the risk mitigation measures and had provided Alameda with significant special treatment on the FTX platform, including a virtually unlimited “line of credit” funded by the platform’s customers.

4. While he spent lavishly on office space and condominiums in The Bahamas, and sank billions of dollars of customer funds into speculative venture investments, Bankman-Fried’s house of cards began to crumble. When prices of crypto assets plummeted in May 2022, Alameda’s lenders demanded repayment on billions of dollars of loans. Despite the fact that Alameda had, by this point, already taken billions of dollars of FTX customer assets, it was unable to satisfy its loan obligations. Bankman-Fried directed FTX to divert billions more in customer assets to Alameda to ensure that Alameda maintained its lending relationships, and that money could continue to flow in from lenders and other investors.

5. But Bankman-Fried did not stop there. Even as it was increasingly clear that Alameda and FTX could not make customers whole, Bankman-Fried continued to misappropriate FTX customer funds. Through the summer of 2022, he directed hundreds of millions more in FTX customer funds to Alameda, which he then used for additional venture investments and for “loans” to himself and other FTX executives. All the while, he continued to make misleading statements to investors about FTX’s financial condition and risk management. Even in November 2022, faced with billions of dollars in customer withdrawal demands that FTX could not fulfill, Bankman-Fried misled investors from whom he needed money to plug a multi-billion-dollar hole. His brazen, multi-year scheme finally came to an end when FTX, Alameda, and their tangled web of affiliated entities filed for bankruptcy on November 11, 2022.

The first thing to note in the rap sheet is the date, “From at least May 2019 . . .”, by which the SEC means FTX’s entire existence. It was around May 2019 that SBF bought the FTX.com domain and the first fundraising announcement didn’t drop until August of that year.

Additionally SEC Chair Gary Gensler, warned:

"The alleged fraud committed by Mr. Bankman-Fried is a clarion call to crypto platforms that they need to come into compliance with our laws."

Grewal said the charges will be filed publicly “tomorrow” on Dec. 14 at the Southern District of New York.

Read the full complaint below:

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

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