Thursday, June 20, 2024

Alameda’s Caroline Ellison and FTX’s Gary Wang hit with additional fraud charges

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have hit former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and former FTX co-founder Gary Wang with fresh fraud charges.

The new charges from the SEC and CFTC come as the pair plead guilty to federal fraud charges filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier on Dec. 22.

SEC states that Ellison and Wang were charged for their role in the “multiyear scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX,” with the SEC also investigating whether other securities laws were violated as well.

The SEC alleges that Ellison, under the direction of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, furthered the scheme by manipulating the price of FTX Token (FTT), which is described as a crypto security token in the document. The said manipulation was conducted by “purchasing large quantities on the open market to prop up its price,” which took effect between 2019 and 2022.

As for the CFTC’s charges, amendments were made to its Dec. 13 fraud filing against Samuel Bankman-Fried, FTX Trading, and Alameda Research to now include Ellison and Wang as named defendants.

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, handcuffed, on his way to airport for extradition. Source: Royal Bahamas Police

The amended complaint now lays charges against Ellison for “fraud and material misrepresentations in connection with the sale of digital asset commodities in interstate commerce.” As for Wang, the former FTX exec has been charged with “fraud in connection with the sale of digital asset commodities in interstate commerce.”

As for the conduct involved that led to the charges, both the SEC and CFTC allege that Wang created FTX’s software code that enabled Alameda to divert customer funds from FTX, which then allowed Ellison to misappropriate those funds for Alameda’s trading activities.

Related: SBF signs extradition papers, set to return to face charges in the US

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has also reportedly landed in the U.S. after being extradited from The Bahamas for fraud charges laid by the U.S. Government. The indictment against SBF is signed by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, and contains eight counts.

SBF is facing charges from the Justice Department, along with SEC and CFTC, for defrauding investors and lenders. Royal Bahamas police arrested the former crypto billionaire on Dec. 12, and his initial application for bail was denied in a Bahamian court.

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