Alameda Research Ex-CEO Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, the FTX co-founder, have pleaded guilty to charges filed against them. On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams announced that the pair was ready to cooperate in the investigation into FTX’s sudden collapse.
The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) also announced charging the two for their participation in a scheme targeting to defraud investors in the crypto exchange FTX. Meanwhile, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission revealed that it had amended its fraud complaint, citing that Wang and Ellison do not challenge their liability for participating in fraud.
Williams says that Sam Bankman-Fried is already in FBI custody and today is his expected arrival in the country. He adds that once he arrives, the plan is to transfer Bankman-Fried to the Southern District of New York and appear before the court as soon as possible.
FTX Employee Exposes the Firm’s Illegal Activities
The U.S. attorney failed to mention Ryan Salame, the former FTX Digital Chairman. Salame was the whistleblower who alerted Bahamian authorities about FTX using users’ money to cover incurred losses at its sister company Alameda Research. The incident happened a week before Bankman-fried filed for bankruptcy protection.
At that time, Salame mentioned Nishad Singh, the director of engineering, Gary Wang, and Bankman-Fried as the only executives who had the power to authorize the transfer of users’ funds to Alameda Research.
SEC Declares Wang and Ellison Active Participants in Fraud
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler announced the agency’s move to prosecute Wang and Ellison. Gensler accused Ellison and Wang of conspiring with Bankman-Fried to manipulate the FTT price, the FTX native token, to boost the value of their house of cards.
Meanwhile, the SEC Deputy Director of Enforcement Division Sanjay Wadhwa describes Wang and Ellison as active participants in a plot to hide vital information from FTX investors. Wadhwa says that the pair used FTT as collateral for several loans that Alameda Research took from FTX.
Wadhwa accuses Wang and Ellison of siphoning FTX users’ money onto Alameda Research while hiding the actual risks that those users faced. Gensler admits that risks to investors will likely continue until crypto exchanges comply with securities policies. The SEC chair promises to use every legal tool possible to bring the crypto world into compliance.