By Luc Cohen
(Reuters) -Sam Bankman-Fried's fraud conviction on Thursday marks the culmination of a yearlong legal saga stemming from the dramatic collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange he founded.
Below is a timeline of key events leading to the verdict:
Bankman-Fried, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, quits his job as a quantitative trader at Jane Street Capital and launches Alameda Research, a trading firm focused on cryptocurrency.
Bankman-Fried and former Google employee Gary Wang found FTX as a new platform to trade crypto tokens and derivatives.
FTX raises $420 million in venture funding, valuing the company at $25 billion. Bankman-Fried debuts on the Forbes billionaires list, which estimates his net worth at $22.5 billion. The magazine's assessment of his wealth would rise to $26 billion by the end of the year.
The NFL Super Bowl's broadcast is heavy on cryptocurrency advertisements, signifying the height of the craze for the booming asset class. FTX's "Don't Miss Out" spot features actor Larry David, whose skepticism about the platform is portrayed as akin to an early human doubting the importance of the wheel.
Bankman-Fried emerges as the cryptocurrency sector's so-called "white knight" 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 website CoinDesk publishes a leaked Alameda Research balance sheet showing that much of its $14.6 billion in assets is held in FTX's own token, called FTT. The token subsequently sheds around $400 million of its market cap, and rival exchange Binance says it will sell its FTT holdings.
NOV. 8, 2022
After FTX sees $6 billion in customer withdrawals in three days, Binance boss Changpeng Zhao says the company has signed a nonbinding agreement to buy FTX's non-U.S. unit. Binance scraps the deal the next day.
NOV. 11, 2022
FTX files for U.S. bankruptcy protection, and Bankman-Fried resigns as its chief executive officer.
NOV. 16, 2022
David and other FTX celebrity promoters, including NFL quarterback Tom Brady, are sued over claims they engaged in deceptive practices. The celebrities have said the suit should be dismissed, arguing they did not cause FTX investors' losses.
DEC. 12, 2022
Bankman-Fried is arrested in the Bahamas, where he lives and where FTX is based. The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan later confirms that a federal grand jury has indicted him for fraud and conspiracy charges.
DEC. 21, 2022
Bankman-Fried leaves the Bahamas after agreeing to be extradited to the United States. While he is in the air, prosecutors reveal that Wang and Alameda chief executive 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 home detention at his parents' home in Palo Alto, California, on $250 million bond.
JAN. 3-12, 2023
Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty and U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan schedules his trial for October. In a post-arrest blog post, Bankman-Fried denies stealing funds and blames FTX's collapse on a broader downturn in crypto markets.
FEB. 28, 2023
Nishad Singh, the former director of engineering at FTX, adds to the pressure on Bankman-Fried by becoming the third former member of his inner circle to plead guilty to fraud charges and agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors.
AUG. 11, 2023
Kaplan revokes Bankman-Fried's bail after finding probable cause to believe he tampered with witnesses at least twice, including by sharing Ellison's private writings with a New York Times reporter. Bankman-Fried is remanded to Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center pending trial.
OCT. 3, 2023
Trial begins in Manhattan federal court.
OCT. 28, 2023
Bankman-Fried testifies in his own defense, saying a "lot of people got hurt" when FTX collapsed but insisting he did not defraud anyone or steal billions of dollars from customers.
NOV. 2, 2023
Bankman-Fried is convicted of all seven charges he faced.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Daniel Wallis)