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Events leading to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s 25-year prison sentence

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NEW YORK: Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for his fraud conviction following the dramatic collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange he founded.

Below is a timeline of events leading to the 32-year-old former billionaire’s conviction:

2017

Bankman-Fried, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, leaves his job as a quantitative trader at Jane Street Capital and launches Alameda Research, a trading firm focused on cryptocurrency.

MAY 2019

Bankman-Fried and former Google employee Gary Wang discovered FTX as a new platform for trading crypto tokens and derivatives.

OCTOBER 2021

FTX raises $420 million in venture capital, valuing the company at $25 billion. Bankman-Fried debuts on Forbes’ list of billionaires, which estimates his net worth at $22.5 billion. The magazine’s estimate of his fortune would be $26 billion by the end of the year.

FEBRUARY 2022

The NFL Super Bowl broadcast is full of cryptocurrency ads, reflecting the height of enthusiasm for this booming asset class. FTX’s “Don’t Miss Out” spot features actor Larry David, whose skepticism of the platform is described as akin to that of an early human doubting the importance of wheel.

JUNE-JULY 2022

Bankman-Fried emerges as the so-called “white knight” of the cryptocurrency sector, amid a collapse in the prices of Bitcoin and other digital assets. Alameda gives crypto lender Voyager Digital a $200 million credit facility, and FTX gives lender BlockFi a $250 million loan.

NOV. 2, 2022

Crypto news site CoinDesk publishes a leaked balance sheet from Alameda Research showing that a large portion of its $14.6 billion in assets are held in FTX’s own token, called FTT. The token then loses around $400 million of its market capitalization, and rival exchange Binance announces that it will sell its FTT holdings.

NOV. 11, 2022

FTX files for bankruptcy protection in the United States after a wave of customer withdrawals, and Bankman-Fried resigns as CEO.

DEC. 12, 2022

Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas, where he resides and where FTX is based. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan later confirmed that a federal grand jury had indicted him on fraud and conspiracy charges.

DEC. 21, 2022

Bankman-Fried leaves the Bahamas after agreeing to be extradited to the United States. While it’s in the air, prosecutors reveal that Wang and Alameda City Manager Caroline Ellison have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

DEC. 22, 2022

Bankman-Fried makes an initial appearance in Manhattan federal court and is released to house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California, on $250 million bail.

JAN. 3-12, 2023

Bankman-Fried is pleading not guilty and U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan is scheduling his trial for October. In a post-arrest blog post, Bankman-Fried denies stealing funds and attributes FTX’s collapse to a broader downturn in crypto markets.

AUGUST. 11, 2023

Kaplan revokes Bankman-Fried’s bond after finding probable cause to believe he tampered with witnesses on at least two occasions, including by sharing Ellison’s private writings with a New York Times reporter. Bankman-Fried is being held in custody at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center while awaiting trial.

OCTOBER. 3, 2023

The trial begins in Manhattan federal court.

OCTOBER. 28, 2023

Bankman-Fried is testifying in his own defense, saying “a lot of people were hurt” when FTX collapsed, but insisting he didn’t defraud anyone or steal billions of dollars from his clients.

NOV. 2, 2023

Bankman-Fried was found guilty of all seven counts he faced.

MARCH 28, 2024

Kaplan sentences Bankman-Fried to 25 years in prison.

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