Former FTX Execs Nishad Singh, Gary Wang to Be Sentenced Later This Year

The duo pled guilty to criminal fraud charges and testified against their former boss, Sam Bankman-Fried, last year.

AccessTimeIconJul 9, 2024 at 2:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 9, 2024 at 2:57 p.m. UTC

Two former senior FTX executives who pleaded guilty to criminal charges and played a role in their boss Sam Bankman-Fried's conviction will be sentenced later this year.

Former Director of Engineering Nishad Singh and former Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang will learn their fates on Oct. 30 and Nov. 20, respectively.

Following their pleas shortly after FTX's massive, industry-shaking collapse in late 2022, they testified against Bankman-Fried at his trial, saying they were made aware of wrongdoing at the exchange shortly before it filed for bankruptcy. Another former FTX executive, Ryan Salame, was recently sentenced to 7.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges. Salame did not testify against Bankman-Fried.

Another executive, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, pleaded guilty alongside Wang, but a sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. Ellison pleaded guilty to seven criminal charges – two counts of wire fraud and five conspiracy charges – and Wang pleaded guilty to four – one count of wire fraud and three conspiracy charges.

In February 2023, Singh pleaded guilty to six criminal charges including fraud and conspiracy. During Bankman-Fried's October 2023 trial, he said he discovered that there was an $8 billion hole in FTX's finances around September 2022, but still signed off on transactions involving money that'd been taken from customers.

"I learned that there was a hole that was enormous and that it had been spent and lost by Alameda, and I knew that it was $8 billion in size. So the last $8 billion of spend had necessarily come from customers. That spend included things like real estate investments, VC investments, campaign donations, and speculative events in trading," he said.

Singh also testified that he programmed systems in 2019 to rout FTX customer deposits to Alameda bank accounts. In addition, he built out systems that gave Alameda "special privileges" that other FTX customers didn't have, including the "allow negative" feature that enabled Alameda to withdraw funds in excess of its balance and collateral.

Wang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud and wire fraud. During Bankman-Fried's trial, Wang said he had helped develop parts of FTX's website. His most damaging admission may have been identifying a piece of code designed to reflect FTX's "public insurance fund," the public-facing figure meant to reassure investors that FTX had a reserve in case of mass withdrawals or other issues.

This figure was essentially made up, and had nothing to do with what was actually in the insurance fund, Wang testified.

He told prosecutors that he cooperated with the FBI "because it seemed like the right thing to do" and to stay out of prison.

During his testimony last October, Singh similarly said he was "hoping for no jail time."

Edited by Nick Baker.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

Cheyenne Ligon

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.