Gary Wang, co-founder of FTX, and former CEO of Alameda Research Caroline Ellison have both entered guilty pleas to criminal charges. Damian Williams, the Southern District of New York's attorney, made the announcement.
Williams stated that Wang and Ellison are both collaborating with investigators and that he expects to file more charges against other people. But he also exhorted additional participants in the defunct cryptocurrency corporation to come forward so that charges may be filed, remarking:
“Our patience is not eternal. We continue to work around the clock, and we are far from done."
The FBI is currently holding Sam Bankman-Fried as well, according to the US attorney.
In addition to filing criminal charges against the two, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission also accused them of defrauding investors. Both agencies note that Ellison and Wang settled, and they both state that Ellison and Wang are also assisting with their investigations. If the judge approves the settlement, both parties must forfeit the money they earned from FTX and Alameda and are forbidden from "issuance, purchase, offer, or sale of any securities," with the exception of their own personal investment accounts.
“As part of their deception, we allege that Caroline Ellison and Sam Bankman-Fried schemed to manipulate the price of FTT, an exchange crypto security token that was integral to FTX, to prop up the value of their house of cards.”
SEC Chair Gary Gensler announced the enforcement action and settlement in a statement. He continued:
“We further allege that Ms. Ellison and Mr. Wang played an active role in a scheme to misuse FTX customer assets to prop up Alameda and to post collateral for margin trading."
After FTT's failure, Bankman-Fried, Ellison, and Wang, according to Gensler, "left investors holding the bag."
The SEC chair continued to say:
"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."
Customers may have to wait months or years before receiving any partial or full refunds from FTX because the company is still going through the bankruptcy process.