One of the key witnesses on the ongoing FTX investigation could evade all the seven counts of allegations against her with a plea deal. Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison would be prosecuted only for criminal tax violations and can be released immediately by paying the $250,000 bail.
A plea deal between Ellison and the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York was published on Dec. 21. According to the document, the former Alameda exec will be spared of all the major charges, which could have cost her up to 110 years in jail.
Ellison was alleged by the attorney on seven counts. Two of them for engaging in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud on customers of FTX and the wire fraud itself. Another two for engaging in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud on lenders of Alameda Research and the wire fraud itself. Count five charged her with conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, count six — for conspiracy to commit securities fraud to FTX equity investors. With the seventh count, she could be charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The Attorney’s Office agrees not to prosecute Ellison on any of the seven counts in exchange for her cooperation — the complete disclosure of all the information and documents demanded by the Office.
The agreement doesn’t provide protection against any other charges that Ellison might face from any other authorities. It also excludes a possible prosecution for criminal tax violations, should they be revealed by the court proceedings.
The Office will not object to Ellison’s release on the bail conditions, which are the $250,000 bond, the restriction to leave the U.S. and surrendering all travel documents.
Meanwhile, the former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried is now in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and on his way back to the U.S., where he will be transported directly to the Southern District of New York to appear before a judge.