SBF pleads ‘not guilty’ as judge grants reduction request



Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he defrauded investors of his bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

The US Department of Justice has accused Bankman-Fried of using billions of dollars in FTX client funds to support his Alameda Research hedge fund, purchase real estate and donate millions of dollars to political causes. Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to all eight criminal counts, including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Bankman-Fried entered her plea before US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan federal court. Kaplan, 78, a “no-nonsense” judge who has presided over several high-profile cases, recently replaced Ronnie Abrams. She withdrew from the case citing conflict of interest as her husband was an FTX advisor last year. Judge Kaplan set a trial date for October 2.

SBF requests

Judge Kaplan also granted Bankman-Fried’s request that the names of the two people who co-signed their bond be redacted. Bankman-Fried requested for her protection, as her parents had recently received harassment and threats. He was remanded in custody after being posted on $250 million bond. Under his custody, he denied any involvement in the recent Almeida transfers.

Bankman-Fried was granted bail after being extradited back to the United States following his arrest in the Bahamas. He continued to live there after the collapse of FTX, which was also located on the island. If convicted, Bankman-Fried could face up to 115 years in prison.

further cases

Even if things turn out well for Bankman-Fried, he still faces legal challenges amid the disintegration of his crypto empire. For example, a class action lawsuit filed by FTX customers demands the remaining digital assets belonging to Alameda and FTX be “assigned to customers only.”

The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit argue that FTX’s loans to Alameda Research, “were in direct violation of FTX’s own customer agreements and terms of service, as well as common law and basic principles of honesty and fair dealing.”

Meanwhile, a media and legal dispute is brewing between the new US owners of FTX and the regulators in the Bahamas. The controversy centered around access to FTX’s internal systems, such as internal Slack messages and QuickBooks accounting software. While Bahamas liquidator Brian Sims says he needs the data to air his side of the company, new FTX chief John Ray III says there is “staggering redundancy” in the request.

disclaimer

BeInCrypto has reached out to the company or the person involved in the story for an official statement regarding the recent development, but has yet to hear back.



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