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Bill Hwang, the protagonist of the Blast of the Century, was found guilty of causing Wall Street to lose billions of dollars

2024-07-11 06:37:09
Bill Hwang, founder of Archegos Asset Management, was criminally charged over his company's 2021 bankruptcy. A two-month trial concluded on Wednesday with the guilty verdicts of Bill Hwang and co-defendant Patrick Halligan, chief financial officer. Bill Hwang, 60, pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud, three counts of fraud and seven counts of market manipulation, but was convicted on 10 of the 11 charges. Now, each conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, although any sentence could be much lower.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Hwang secretly amassed huge stakes in companies without actually owning the stock. At one point, Archegos' market position ballooned to $160 billion because they used a deceptive trading strategy to hide their true size from the market. This allowed Mr. Hwang and his hedge fund to remain anonymous due to the use of borrowed money and derivative securities that were not publicly reported.
Archegos collapsed in March 2021 as Wall Street scrambled to liquidate Archegos-related positions. When the dust settled, it caused losses of more than $10 billion to counterparties including Credit Suisse Group, Morgan Stanley and Nomura. The incident also laid the groundwork for Credit Suisse's bankruptcy.