One of the key witnesses in the ongoing FTX investigation could avoid all seven charges against her thanks to a plea deal. Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison would only be prosecuted for criminal tax violations under the agreement and could be released immediately on $250,000 bail.
The agreement between Ellison and the Attorney General’s Office for the Southern District of New York was published on December 21. According to the document, the former Alameda executive will be cleared of all significant charges, for which she could have been sentenced to up to 110 years in prison.
Ellison was charged with seven counts. Two of them accused her of committing electronic fraud against FTX clients and of participating in and conspiring to do so. Two others accused her of committing wire fraud against Alameda Research lenders and conspiring to do so. Her fifth count charged her with conspiracy to commit commodity fraud, and the sixth with conspiracy to commit securities fraud against investors in FTX shares. Her seventh count accused her of conspiring to commit money laundering.
The Prosecutor’s Office agreed not to prosecute Ellison on any of those seven charges in exchange for his cooperation: full disclosure of all information and documents demanded by prosecutors.
The settlement offers no protection from any further prosecution that Ellison may face from other authorities. It also excludes possible prosecution for criminal tax violations, should the judicial process reveal them.
Federal prosecutors have agreed not to oppose Ellison’s release under bail conditions that involve a $250,000 bail, restriction from leaving the United States and the surrender of all his travel documents.
Meanwhile, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is currently in FBI custody and en route to the United States, where he will be transferred directly to the Southern District of New York to appear before a judge.
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