Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ in Criminal Case

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency Fraud
Fraud Management & Cybercrime

Trial Date Tentatively Set for Oct. 2

Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads 'Not Guilty' in Criminal Case
Sam Bankman-Fried testifies before a Senate Committee on Feb. 9, 2022. (Image: C-SPAN)

Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to fraud and other criminal charges in a Manhattan federal court, weeks after the Justice Department charged the 30-year-old with carrying out a yearslong multibillion-dollar scam at FTX.

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District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Southern District of New York reportedly set a tentative Oct. 2 trial date for the bankrupt cryptocurrency trading platform founder. If found guilty, the former billionaire and crypto wunderkind faces up to 115 years of imprisonment.

Kaplan has prior experience with crypto scam cases. He sentenced the first bitcoin-related securities fraud case in 2016.

In December, law enforcement arrested Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas, after a U.S. federal grand jury issued an eight-count indictment charging him with wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and violating campaign finance laws.

He made his first appearance in New York federal court on Dec. 22 following his decision not to contest extradition from the inside an island prison. He’s since been out on $250 million bail and in home detention at the Palo Alto, California, home of his parents, who are both Stanford University law professors.

Prosecutors have obtained plea agreements from two Bankman-Fried associates, former FTX CTO and co-founder Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, CEO of FTX-affiliated Alameda Research. Ellison faces up to 110 years of imprisonment after she pleaded guilty to seven charges, including two counts of wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. Wang faces up to 50 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, commodities fraud and wire fraud. Released on a $250,000 bond, Ellison and Wang are currently assisting prosecutors with their case against Bankman-Fried.

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