FTX founder Sam Bankman-Frie faced new fraud charges on Thursday, as prosecutors accused him of cheating thousands of investors out of billions of dollars while casting himself as a trustworthy ”savior of the cryptocurrency industry”.
These new charges include securities fraud and conspiracy fraud counts, which were unveiled with the unsealing of the refreshed indictment in Manhattan federal court.
“We are hard at work and will remain so until justice is done,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams hinted, as he has several times previously, that prosecutors were not finished building their case.
However, a spokesperson for Bankman-Fried’s attorneys declined the comment.
The new charges raised the prison sentence Bankman-Fried could face if convicted from 115 years to 155 years, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried stole billions of dollars in FTX customer deposits to support the operations and investments of FTX and Alameda and to fund speculative venture investments, make charitable donations and spend tens of millions of dollars on illegal campaign donations to Democrats and Republicans in an attempt to buy influence over cryptocurrency regulation in Washington.
Twice in the last two weeks, he has appeared in court after prosecutors expressed concern that he might be communicating online in ways they cannot trace. They have also said his communications indicate that he might be trying to influence a witness with incriminating evidence against him.
FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, when it ran out of money after the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run.He is free on a $250 million personal recognizance bond. The bail arrangement allows him to live with electronic monitoring at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California.