Two former executives of FTX and Alameda Research pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal fraud charges.
The incident coincided with the day when the Bahamas extradited FTX co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to the U.S. to face criminal charges,
Caroline Ellison, 28, the former chief executive of Alameda Research — the crypto trading company founded by Bankman-Fried — and Zixiao (Gary) Wang, 29, co-founder of crypto platform FTX and its former chief technology officer, were charged for their roles in contributing to the crypto platform’s collapse.
Decades-long prison sentences may await them if convicted.
Both pleaded guilty to charges that included wire fraud, securities fraud and commodities fraud in exchange for leniency.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams of the Southern District of New York said both were cooperating in the continuing investigation into FTX and Bankman-Fried.
Williams added that Bankman-Fried, 30, was in FBI custody and will appear in court “as soon as possible,” and suggested more charges in the FTX case could be forthcoming.
“If you participated in misconduct at FTX or Alameda, now is the time to get ahead of it,” Williams said.
In a parallel action, the Securities and Exchange Commission also charged Ellison and Wang “for their roles in a multiyear scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX.”