FTX associates Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang plead guilty to criminal charges
Both were charged in advance of Sam Bankman-Fried's return to the U.S.
Two individuals associated with FTX have pled guilty to criminal charges, according to a statement from the Southern District of New York on Dec. 21.
Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that his office had filed charges against Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, co-founder of FTX, in connection to FTX’s fraudulent activities.
The two individuals have pled guilty and are cooperating in the ongoing case against FTX’s principal founder and former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also filed fraud charges against Ellison and Wang. The regulator charged Ellison with manipulating the price of FTX’s FTT token and misusing FTX customer funds to support Alameda’s trading activity. The SEC also alleged that Wang programmed software that allowed Alameda to divert FTX customer funds for its own purposes.
SEC chair Gary Gensler stated on Twitter:
Until crypto platforms comply with time-tested securities laws, risks to investors will persist. It remains a priority of the SEC to use all of our available tools to bring the industry into compliance.
A more extensive description of the charges can be seen in the SEC’s official press release. In addition, the regulator says it is investigating other possible violations of securities law and violations that other individuals may have committed.
The news comes as Sam Bankman-Fried returns to the U.S. to face fraud charges. Officials approved his extradition request in the Bahamas on Wednesday. Bankman-Fried was on board a flight to the U.S. at the time of William’s announcement.