U.S. Prosecutors to Proceed with Sam Bankman-Fried’s Trial on Original 8 Charges — Temporarily
The criminal trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of FTX, will proceed with the eight charges initially brought against him by U.S. prosecutors, at least for the time being.
In a court filing on June 14, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) informed district judge Lewis Kaplan that they intend to proceed with the trial based on the original indictment from December 2022, which contained the eight charges against Bankman-Fried.
The decision comes in response to a motion filed by Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas, where he argued that many of the 13 charges he faced were not part of the original indictment that formed the basis for his extradition. Recognizing that the resolution of this motion could take a considerable amount of time, the prosecutors stated their readiness to proceed with the trial as scheduled, focusing on the charges in the original indictment.
The Supreme Court of the Bahamas, on June 14, ruled that Bankman-Fried should be given the opportunity to formally challenge the new charges before the country can agree to them.
After Bankman-Fried’s extradition, the DoJ unveiled four additional charges in February related to fraud and fraud conspiracy, along with another charge in March accusing him of bribing Chinese officials.
Bankman-Fried, who founded FTX and served as its former CEO, was initially charged in December 2022 in connection with the management of the failed exchange. FTX experienced a liquidity crisis in November 2022, leading to its subsequent bankruptcy.
The exchange reportedly owes creditors more than $3 billion. Prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried commingled customer funds and provided misleading information about FTX’s risk management practices, resulting in losses for investors and customers.
Caroline Ellison, former CEO of sister company Alameda Research, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang have both pleaded guilty to fraud charges in relation to the collapse of the exchange. However, Bankman-Fried has asserted that management errors, rather than fraud, were responsible for the exchange’s downfall.