Sam Bankman-Fried could face 2 criminal trials, with prosecution on some charges delayed until 2024

by Gabriel Martinez
criminal trials

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, may potentially face two criminal trials, as a federal judge has granted a request by prosecutors to delay a trial on certain charges until the following year.

Bankman-Fried is scheduled to face trial in October for charges filed against him last year. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in Manhattan has set a trial date of March 11 for him regarding newer charges filed earlier this year.

The decision to schedule two trials was made after prosecutors stated that they would proceed with the newer charges only if the authorities in the Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried was initially arrested, give their consent.

The judge made this ruling shortly after Bankman-Fried appeared before Kaplan, while his lawyers argued for the dismissal of charges alleging that he and other top executives engaged in fraudulent activities against investors and misappropriated FTX customer deposits to fund extravagant lifestyles. Although Kaplan seemed skeptical towards some of their arguments, he did not immediately make a ruling.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thane Rehn informed Kaplan that the charges brought in a revised indictment in February and again in March require approval from Bahamian authorities to comply with the terms of a U.S. Extradition Treaty, which came into effect when Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas in December. These new charges include an accusation that Bankman-Fried directed the payment of $40 million in bribes to a Chinese official or officials to unfreeze $1 billion in cryptocurrency that was frozen earlier in 2021.

Rehn mentioned that prosecutors would not proceed with the new charges unless they obtain the necessary waiver, citing the importance of diplomatic relationships. He stated that discussions with Bahamian authorities before the superseding indictment was unsealed led prosecutors to believe that the waiver would be granted.

Rehn also noted that a trial based on the original indictment would last four to five weeks, which is about a week shorter than if the new charges were included.

Bankman-Fried, 31, known among cryptocurrency enthusiasts as “SBF,” has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is currently awaiting trial at his parent’s home in Palo Alto, California, where the conditions of his $250 million personal recognizance bond severely restrict his online communications and ability to transfer money. If convicted, he could potentially face several years in prison. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams has referred to this case as “one of the biggest frauds in American history.”

Bankman-Fried’s defense lawyers have requested the dismissal of the indictment, arguing that the charges are flawed. They claim that the charges are duplicative, vague, and lack specificity, typically falling under regulatory enforcement actions rather than criminal charges.

“They are attempting to criminalize a civil matter,” argued attorney Christian Everdell as he challenged the various charges against his client, including a bank fraud conspiracy charge. Everdell’s argument prompted the judge to commend him for his “exceptionally imaginative argument.”

Prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried and other executives at his cryptocurrency operation defrauded investors and embezzled FTX customer deposits to finance extravagant real estate purchases, make political donations, and engage in risky trades at Alameda Research, his cryptocurrency hedge fund trading firm.

FTX experienced financial difficulties and declared bankruptcy in November when the global exchange ran out of funds, similar to a bank run.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about criminal trials

What charges is Sam Bankman-Fried facing?

Sam Bankman-Fried is facing charges of fraud and embezzlement, among others.

How many criminal trials may Sam Bankman-Fried face?

Sam Bankman-Fried may face two criminal trials.

Why was a trial on some charges delayed until 2024?

A federal judge granted a request by prosecutors to delay a trial on certain charges until next year, possibly to ensure compliance with the terms of a U.S. Extradition Treaty and to obtain approval from Bahamian authorities.

What are the allegations against Sam Bankman-Fried?

The allegations against Sam Bankman-Fried include cheating investors, looting FTX customer deposits, directing bribes to Chinese officials, and engaging in fraudulent activities.

Where is Sam Bankman-Fried awaiting trial?

Sam Bankman-Fried is awaiting trial at his parent’s home in Palo Alto, California, under strict conditions imposed by a $250 million personal recognizance bond.

How long could Sam Bankman-Fried potentially be sentenced if convicted?

If convicted, Sam Bankman-Fried could face several years in prison.

What is the status of FTX?

FTX experienced financial difficulties and declared bankruptcy in November when it ran out of funds, similar to a bank run.

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BitcoinQueen June 16, 2023 - 4:10 am

sam bankman-fried, ftx head, trouble brewing, dual trials, charges postponed, fraud n embezzlement allegations, gotta watch closely, nail-biting times ahead!

BlockchainFanatic June 16, 2023 - 12:57 pm

sam bankman-fried, FTX founder, facing criminal trials, charges delayed, fraud n embezzlement, BIG deal! curious if he’ll walk free or face consequences!

CryptoEnthusiast92 June 16, 2023 - 4:22 pm

omg sam bankman-fried in deep trouble, 2 trials, charges delay, fraud n embezzlement alleged, gonna b intense! hope justice served!

CryptoTrader007 June 16, 2023 - 7:44 pm

srsly? bankman-fried facin’ dual trials, fraud, embezzlement, bribes? dis crypto world gettin’ crazier by d day. can’t wait 2 c how it unfolds!

CryptoGuru23 June 16, 2023 - 10:47 pm

ftx founder sam bankman-fried, trials, charges delay, fraud n embezzlement claims, omg! hope justice prevails n sends a strong msg 2 fraudulent acts in crypto!


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