Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Fraud, Conspiracy Charges
NEW YORK – Sam Bankman-Fried will go to trial in October.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York ruled on a tentative date for the anticipated weeks-long trial during the former FTX executive’s arraignment in the Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday afternoon. Bankman-Fried, who stands accused on eight different counts including wire fraud and campaign finance violations, pleaded not guilty to all charges at the opening of the hearing.
The former CEO of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange made his second appearance in a New York courthouse on Tuesday. Bankman-Fried's first appearance last week resulted in him being released on a personal recognizance bond and, shortly after, flying back to his parents' home in California. His not guilty plea today was expected, according to an earlier report in the Wall Street Journal.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon told the court that the prosecution expected the bulk of its discovery to be completed within the coming weeks. The government will produce materials it already has accessed within the next several weeks, she said. This includes documents shared by FTX’s bankruptcy attorneys.
Read more: Understanding the Charges Brought Against Sam Bankman-Fried
Judge Kaplan also granted Bankman-Fried's application to seal the names of the additional co-signers who, in addition to his parents, guaranteed his $250 million bail bond. Media can object to the redaction of the identities of the bond signers through Jan. 12. Bankman-Fried's lawyers had argued that there were safety and privacy concerns with revealing the names of the co-signers.
On the government’s behalf, Sassoon asked the court to modify the conditions of Bankman-Fried's bail conditions, requesting that he be prohibited from accessing or transferring any assets tied to FTX or its affiliated entities. She referenced last week's discovery that several Alameda wallets had begun moving thousands of dollars worth of crypto into other wallets.
"This money is now inaccessible for the purposes of government seizure," Sassoon said.
While the defense argued that Bankman-Fried had not been involved in these transactions and in fact had been cooperating with the prosecution – which Sassoon acknowledged – the judge ruled that Bankman-Fried should not be able to access or transfer any FTX or Alameda related funds.
Sassoon also said that while Bankman-Fried had tweeted he was not involved in those transactions, he had “tweeted false statements” before.
Read more: Previewing FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s Not Guilty Plea in Court
Bankman-Fried was arrested last month in the Bahamas after a request from federal prosecutors, who unveiled eight different charges against him the next day.
Prosecutors alleged that Bankman-Fried “misappropriated” customer deposits, using client funds to pay for FTX sister company Alameda Research’s expenses and debts, and lied about FTX’s financial health in the process.
Today's plea, which Bankman-Fried can change, at least for now sets up an October trial where prosecutors will spell out how they believe he violated federal laws in defrauding his customers, investors and lenders, as well as charges with respect to campaign finance regulations.
Reference : https://www.coindesk.com