Sam Bankman-Fried Associates Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang Plead Guilty to U.S. Charges

Two former lieutenants in fallen kingpin Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire pleaded guilty to criminal charges and are cooperating with federal prosecutors probing the fiery collapse of FTX, officials said Wednesday.

Caroline Ellison, the former chief executive of Alameda Research and Bankman-Fried’s sometime lover, and Gary Wang, a co-founder of the $32-billion crypto exchange, were charged “in connection with their roles in the frauds that contributed to FTX’s collapse,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said in an address on Wednesday night.

Ellison and Wang were also charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “for their roles in a multiyear scheme” to defraud FTX’s investors, the agency said in a separate Wednesday statement. “When FTX and the rest of the house of cards collapsed, Mr. Bankman-Fried, Ms. Ellison, and Mr. Wang left investors holding the bag,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said.

A major step forward in the case against Bankman-Fried, Ellison and Wang’s guilty pleas come amid news that the disgraced mogul had landed in the U.S. after being extradited from the Bahamas, where he was arrested earlier this month.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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