Collapsed crypto exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty in NY


Bankman-Fried, 30, is accused of illegally diverting massive sums of money from FTX clients to make lavish real estate purchases, donate money to politicians and conduct risky transactions at his cryptocurrency hedge fund trading firm.

Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried arrives for an appearance in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, in New York. (Craig Ruttle/AP)

Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of bankrupt crypto company FTX, has pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court.

Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, announced his client’s guilty plea Tuesday, saying, “He pleads not guilty to all charges.”

Bankman-Fried is accused of misleading investors and looting customer deposits on its cryptocurrency trading platform.

Bankman-Fried, 30, is accused of illegally diverting massive sums of money from FTX clients to make lavish real estate purchases, donate money to politicians and conduct risky transactions at Alameda Research, his hedge fund trading firm. cryptocurrencies.

Carrying a backpack, Bankman-Fried marched through a flood of cameras as she entered the courthouse on a rainy day for her first appearance before Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. In addition to pleading guilty at arraignment, Kaplan was expected to discuss with lawyers a timetable for proceeding to trial.

Before her arraignment, her lawyers sent a letter to the judge, saying that Bankman-Fried’s parents have in recent weeks become the target of “intense scrutiny, harassment and threats from the media, including communications expressing the desire from suffering bodily harm.”

As a result, the attorneys requested that the names of the two people who were in line to sign Bankman-Fried’s $250 million personal acknowledgment bond be removed from court documents. Bankman-Fried was released on electronic monitoring about two weeks ago on the condition that he await trial at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California.

Carolyn Ellison, 28, who ran Alameda, and Gary Wang, 29, who co-founded FTX, have pleaded guilty to fraud charges and are cooperating with prosecutors in a bid for leniency. Both are free on bail.

READ MORE:
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His pleas were kept secret until Bankman-Fried went on the air after his extradition from the Bahamas, where FTX is based, fearing he might go on the run.

READ MORE:
FTX founder agrees to extradition to US – lawyer

Shortly before Bankman-Fried’s arraignment, US Attorney Damian Williams announced that he was launching a task force comprised of senior prosecutors in his office to investigate and prosecute matters related to the FTX collapse. He said the task force will also work to track down and recover victims’ assets.

“The Southern District of New York is working around the clock to respond to the FTX implosion,” Williams said in a news release. make sure this urgent work continues, powered by all of SDNY’s resources and experience until justice is served.”

READ MORE:
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Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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