FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman Fried (SBF) appeared before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in a Federal Court in New York. The former executive pleaded not guilty to eight charges, including those related to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud, allegedly as part of an agreement with U.S. law enforcement agencies.
Sam Bankman-Fried has arrived in court for his arraignment. We’re told he will plead not guilty to all the charges against him. pic.twitter.com/yakSLkOus8
— Connell McShane (@connellmcshane) January 3, 2023
Sam Bankman Fried Not Guilty?
Following his extradition from the Bahamas, Sam Bankman Fried was granted a $250 million bail and released under the custody of his parents. In late December 2022, there were rumors about a potential agreement between SBF and law enforcement agencies.
The agreement was a source of controversy, as with other facts about the case around FTX and its founders; SBF was expected to plead not guilty. The collapse of the crypto exchange caused users billions of dollars in lost funds.
In addition, Sam Bankman Fried allegedly used customers’ funds to prompt up his trading arm, Alameda Research. Thus, the not-guilty plea as part of any arrangement was deemed outrageous by those FTX users awaiting resolution and blamed SBF for their losses.
Judge Kaplan accepted SBF’s plead and set the trial date for October 2, 2023. It remains to be seen if the FTX founder will stick to his plea or change it later as part of his alleged deal with local authorities.
If the case goes to trial and Sam Bankman Fried is found guilty, the FTX former executive could face life in prison or 115 years for his participation in his company’s demise. Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and former FTX CTO Gary Wang entered guilty plea deals with the U.S. government.
These individuals cooperate with law enforcement agencies and could provide evidence to convict SBF if he decides to proceed with the trial.
In addition to the plea, the court hearing determined that the people that helped Sam Bankman Fried to raise the money for the $250 million bond will remain a secrete at the request of the FTX founder.
SBF asks judge to redact the names of the two individuals who co-signed his bond
Who could it be? pic.twitter.com/yp2ZvKLQ2d
— db (@tier10k) January 3, 2023
According to a court document, the U.S. government did not fight the injunction granted by the court.
As of this writing, Bitcoin trades at $16,700 with sideways movement on the daily chart.