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Former Alameda CEO and FTX Co-founder pleads guilty



The Former Alameda CEO, Caroline Ellison, and FTX Co-founder, Gary Wang, on Thursday were confirmed to have pleaded guilty in the Southern District of New York via a publication as announced by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. The publication covers the U.S. court proceedings on FTX and Alameda. 

Alameda CEO plea covers a seven-count charge of “conspiracy to commit wire fraud on customers of FTX, wire fraud on customers of FTX, conspiracy to commit wire fraud on lenders of Alameda Research, as well as wire fraud on lenders of Alameda.” Further, she pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.”

During the proceedings, Attorney Williams emphasized a call he made the previous week where he said, “If you participated in misconduct at FTX or Alameda, now is the time to get ahead of it. We are moving quickly, and our patience is not eternal.”

Gary Wang, FTX Co-founder, however, declined some of the charges and pleaded guilty to only four counts. Gary pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to commit wire fraud on customers of FTX, wire fraud on customers of FTX, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.” 

In a statement, Gary Wang’s attorney said Wang had accepted responsibility for his actions and his obligations as a cooperating witness are taken seriously by him. 

Following this new development, Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison will likely face up to 50 and 110 years in prison, respectively. But the plea agreement, as first obtained from the New York Inner City Press, states if Ellison cooperates with the authorized investigation, her prosecution might be made light. 

Key highlights of the plea agreement:

  • Ellison’s full cooperation with the SDNY’s investigation and any other law enforcement agency designated by the office would exempt her from further criminal prosecution except otherwise. However, she will face “possible criminal tax violations concerning the wire and commodity fraud charges.”
  • Ellison will be granted bail only if she can provide a $250,000 personal recognizance bond, surrender her travel documents and restrict travel to the continental United States. 
  • Ellison will likely be removed from the U.S. if confirmed she is not a U.S. citizen.

The unsealed plea agreement also states that Caroline Ellison will have to let go of any proceeds derived from the commission of the offenses she has been charged with.

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