Two executives at Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire plead guilty to fraud

Two former senior executives of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Trading Empire have pleaded guilty to federal charges and are cooperating in the criminal case against the disgraced crypto entrepreneur, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said Wednesday evening.

They are both Caroline Ellisonwho was CEO of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading company, Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, founder of crypto exchange FTX.

The guilty pleas and cooperation agreements are major advances in the fraud case against Mr Bankman-Fried, who is in US custody after agreeing to be extradited from the Bahamas earlier on Wednesday.

Mr. Bankman-Fried is accused of organizing a multi-year fraud who diverted billions of customer money for other purposes, including buying real estate in the Bahamas, trading crypto in Alameda, making campaign donations, and investing in other crypto companies. Prosecutors say he defrauded clients, investors and lenders of his crypto-trading firm, which was once one of the world’s largest before it went bankrupt last month.

US Attorney Damien Williams also said Mr Bankman-Fried was now in FBI custody and would be brought back to the United States on Wednesday evening and brought before a judge as soon as possible. He is expected to appear in court as early as Thursday.

Ms Ellison’s lawyers could not be reached for comment. Ilan Graff, Mr. Wang’s lawyer, said: “Gary has accepted responsibility for his actions and takes his duties as a cooperating witness seriously.”

A spokesman for Mr. Bankman-Fried declined to comment.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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