(VitalNews.org) – On December 9, authorities filed an indictment against FTX founder Samuel Bankman-Fried, charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud on lenders and customers, commodities fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, defrauding the US government, and violating campaign finance laws. Prosecutors date the businessman’s alleged crimes back to 2019.
On January 3, Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty in the Manhattan US District Court to all eight charges against him. According to Fox Business, the defendant did not utter a sound in court, but only spoke through his attorneys to enter his plea. In December, authorities in the Bahamas arrested the cryptocurrency exchange founder but released him on a $250 million bond under the stipulation he stay with his parents in California to await prosecution.
BREAKING: Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to fraud chargeshttps://t.co/1Gi2KiHwOV
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 3, 2023
Prosecutors believe Bankman-Fried misappropriated customer deposits to his other company, Alameda Research, to pay its obligations. He then allegedly lied to lenders about the financial position of said company. Attorneys for the government also accuse the crypto guru of making political donations under other names to hide his identity and skirt political donation laws.
Former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawyer Howard Fischer recently told CNBC he thinks former FTX employees are cooperating with authorities to build a case against Bankman-Fried in order to cut themselves a deal.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan set a trial date for October 2. In the meantime, investigators continue to build a case against the defendant. Reuters stated Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams promised to keep the public updated on its progress. He did seem to confirm Fischer’s assessment in December 2022, revealing two of Bankman-Fried’s associates, Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, already pleaded guilty and are working with the prosecution. At the time, Williams encouraged anyone involved to come forward if they plan to seek leniency, as his “patience” would not last in this case forever, according to a different Reuters report.
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