Sam Bankman-Freed was released on bail last month after being extradited from the Bahamas and facing charges following a spectacular drop in FTX. (Photo: Getty Images)
NEW YORK — FTX co-founder and former head of cryptocurrency exchange Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to eight counts in federal court in New York on Tuesday.
Charged with fraud and criminality, among others, “SBF”, his nickname, was extradited in late December from the Bahamas, where FTX was headquartered, and then released on arrival in New York on £250 bail. . million dollars.
At the hearing, the broker and businessman in a dark suit and tie said nothing and let his attorney, Mark Cohen, speak on his behalf.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s strategy differs from that of former FTX chief Gary Wang, who pleaded guilty last month and is working with authorities, as is Caroline Ellison, former head of FTX’s Alameda Research platform subsidiary.
Speculation and political donations
Sam Bankman-Fried is suspected of using funds deposited by customers on the FTX platform with employees to conduct speculative financial transactions through Alameda Research.
In addition to risky transactions through Alameda, he is also suspected of investing some of that money in real estate in the Bahamas and donating to Democratic politicians – always funded by FTX clients – including Joe Biden during his presidential campaign.
Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan has set October 2 as the start date for the trial of the man who was once credited with a $26 billion fortune but lost everything in the FTX and Alameda bankruptcy.
Danielle Sassoon, a spokesman for the Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office, estimated that the trial would last four weeks, while the defendants’ lawyers called two to three weeks. Judge Kaplan did not rule on the matter.
Each of five of the eight counts against Sam Bankman-Fried carries a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison.
He is currently under house arrest with his parents in California, so he will likely spend the rest of his life in jail.
After FTX’s November 11 bankruptcy, Sam Bankman-Fried repeatedly publicly stated that he had not been at the helm of Alameda Research for many months, implicitly blaming Caroline Ellison.
Argument disputed by the prosecution alleging that “SBF” remained the primary decision maker in Alameda until FTX filed for bankruptcy.
Ms Sassoon said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams’ office planned to release “hundreds of thousands of documents” in support of his allegations over the next two weeks.
The US financial derivatives regulator, the CFTC, estimates that the total amount of funds transferred from FTX client accounts is $8 billion.
Danielle Sassoon indicated on Tuesday that the number of victims of the alleged actions of Sam Bankman-Freed could be “more than a million.”