With news that former FTX cryptocurrency exchange boss, Sam Bankman-Fried, was found guilty of fraud yesterday, Martin Kenney said:

This case is astonishing on so many levels. From the rapid prosecution to the futuristic nature of cryptocurrency, and the simplistic, almost old-fashioned nature of the crime at its centre – ‘corruption as old as time’ according to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams – Sam Bankman-Fried will surely be sent to jail for many, many years.

Bankman-Fried’s arrogance was to assume he could get away with it. Yet fraud is never a victimless crime and even if investors are able to recoup a proportion of their losses, the devastation that fraud causes can change lives forever.

The evidence in this case appeared overwhelming. Prosecutors demolished Bankman-Fried’s defence and his failure to recollect key decisions. It took a mere four hours for the jury to arrive at their guilty verdict. Given the size of the case as well as its importance, the prosecution has done an admirable job in pulling all the pieces together. There is great skill in making such cases jury-friendly.

Our law firm constitutes expertise drawn from multiple jurisdictions, including the U.K. and U.S. Our British contingent has been amazed at the speed of the prosecution in the SBF case. We estimate that a similar case prosecuted in the U.K. would take, on average, six or more years to bring to conclusion. The disparity with the US is startling.

Bankman-Fried may attempt to appeal, but the evidence against him appeared damning. The verdict should now serve as a warning to investors, and crypto bosses alike, that fraud cannot hide, no matter how sophisticated the industry.

Martin Kenney is Head of Firm at MKS (Martin Kenney & Co) in the BVI