The ex-girlfriend of disgraced FTX crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison, faced up to 110 years in prison before she agreed to cooperate with the federal government, her plea deal shows.
The former Alameda hedge fund executive, 28, pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in an agreement signed Monday.
“The total maximum prison term for counts one through seven of the Information is 110 years in prison,” according to the document filed by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The agreement also indicates that Ellison and FTKS co-founder Gary Wang agreed to “fully cooperate” with the feds, in return for which they will likely receive much lighter sentences.
Crypto exchange FTKS collapsed in November after federal investigators said Bankman-Fried used investors’ money to finance the Alameda hedge fund and that by the summer of this year Alameda owed FTKS clients about $8 billion.
For her role in the scheme, the major charges Ellison faced included wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
However, in exchange for Ellison’s decision to “truthfully and fully disclose all information regarding all matters” in the investigation, prosecutors are agreeing to release the Stanford-educated mathematician on $250,000 bail. Provided she keeps her promise to cooperate with the feds, she will be sentenced at a later date.
The bail amount is 1,000 times less than that of her former lover, Bankman-Fried, who is holed up in his parents’ home in Palo Alto with an ankle monitor after being released on a record $250 million bail following his extradition from the Bahamas.
As part of her plea, Ellison, a Massachusetts native whose parents teach at MIT, is also barred from traveling outside the continental United States, and has been forced to surrender her travel documents to police.
Check out The Post’s latest on the Sam Bankman-Fried FTKS scandal
The plea agreement shows Ellison is still on the line for financial restitution and has been sued separately by the federal government.
Earlier this week, legal experts told The Post why they believe Ellison will turn against Bankman-Fried.
“Almost always people say, ‘At the end of the day, I have to look out for my own interest or my family’s interest.’ Even if I don’t enjoy what I’m being asked to do,” said Jack Sharman, a criminal attorney at Lightfoot, Franklin & White.
“[Ellison and Wang] likely to undermine many of the [Bankman-Fried’s] defense or arguments that they were in charge or did things without his knowledge,” added Michael Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor and counsel at Cole Schotz.
Since the FTX scandal broke in November, Alison has given up her lifestyle of bouncing between the company’s ultra-luxurious penthouse in the Bahamas and Hong Kong and has kept a low profile. She was spotted only once, grabbing coffee in New York on December 4.