Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to criminal charges in US
Sam Bankman-Fried has denied the federal charges alleging that he deceived the investors of his bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
The US Department of Justice has charged Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, with eight criminal counts including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charges allege that Bankman-Fried used billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to support his hedge fund, Alameda Research, buy real estate, and make donations to political causes. Bankman-Fried has plead not guilty to all charges. He appeared before Judge Lewis Kaplan in a Manhattan federal court, where a trial date was set for October 2. Judge Kaplan, who is 78 years old and known for handling high-profile cases, recently replaced Ronnie Abrams on the case due to a conflict of interest as Abrams’ husband was an advisor for FTX last year.
SBF Requests granted
Judge Kaplan granted the request of Bankman-Fried to redact the names of the two individuals who co-signed his bond due to concerns for their safety after Bankman-Fried’s parents received harassment and threats. Bankman-Fried was released on bail, under the custody of the two co-signers, after being extradited to the United States from the Bahamas and charged with up to 115 years in prison if convicted. Prior to his arrest, Bankman-Fried had been living in the Bahamas following the collapse of FTX, which was also based on the island.
Even if Bankman-Fried has successful outcomes in the future, he still faces legal challenges regarding the restructuring of his crypto business. One example is the class action lawsuit filed by FTX customers, who are requesting that the remaining digital assets linked to Alameda and FTX be “reserved solely for customers.” The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that FTX’s loans to Alameda Research were “in violation of FTX’s own customer agreements and terms of service, as well as principles of honesty and fair dealing.”
There is also a ongoing dispute between FTX’s new U.S. owners and regulators in the Bahamas regarding access to FTX’s internal systems, such as internal Slack messages and QuickBooks accounting software. While the Bahamas liquidator Brian Simms believes the data is necessary to close his side of the company, new FTX Chief John Ray III feels the request has “excessive scope.”
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