FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried to Argue Next Week
The co-founder of failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, is set to present his plea in court on January 3, according to court documents. Bankman-Fried is due in a New York court for his arraignment, where he will plead guilty to the eight charges of fraud and conspiracy against him or stand trial. Two of Bankman-Fried’s partners have already pleaded guilty to fraud charges and allegedly cooperated with investigators.
Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas earlier this month as US authorities continue to investigate FTX’s titanic collapse. Prosecutors say Bankman-Fried took people’s money stored with the cryptocurrency exchange and fraudulently sent it to and from Alameda Research, his cryptocurrency hedge fund. In interviews with various media outlets, Bankman-Fried denied any foul play or criminal intent.
Samuel Raymond and Andrew Rohrbach have been appointed as prosecutors in the Bankman-Fried case, according to court documents. Among other cases, Raymond handled the seizure of a painting looted by Nazi forces during World War II which was returned to its rightful owners in Ukraine. Rohrbach was one of the prosecutors leading the case against Jeffrey Epstein’s accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Judge Ronnie Abrams, originally slated to preside over the Bankman-Fried court proceeding, recused himself after noting that her husband’s law firm advised FTX in 2021. The case was reassigned to the judge for the Southern District of New York, Lewis A. Kaplan, who took on high profile cases involving organized crime and art fraud.
Independent of the Bankman-Fried case, the Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation in $370 million that disappeared just hours after FTX filed for bankruptcy. The investigation will be conducted by the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, which the DOJ launched last year focus on cybercrime associated with cryptocurrency.
Leave a Reply