Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to Financial Crimes, Faces 115 Years in Prison

Bankman-fried, the ceo of ftx, pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and violating campaign finance law in a federal court in new york. bankman-fried faces a maximum sentence of up to 115 years in federal prison if found guilty. his court case was reassigned to judge lewis a. kaplan from judge ronnie abrams, who recused herself due to her husband’s involvement with a law firm that had advised ftx in 2021. mark cohen and christian everdell attended court on behalf of bankman-fried.

Collapse of ftx in november 2020 caused a shockwave in the crypto world and led to a selloff of the exchange’s ftt token. bankman-fried was arrested in the bahamas and extradited to the u.s. he was released from custody on a $250 million bond agreement and is now under house arrest in palo alto, california. bankman-fried recently returned to twitter to deny his involvement in the transfer of alameda-linked funds which took place days after his release.

U.s. attorney’s office for the southern district of new york has accused bankman-fried of misappropriating customer funds, as well as misleading investors and lenders. alameda research, a trading firm owned by bankman-fried, allegedly received billions of dollars of customer funds to fuel its trades. gary wang and caroline ellison, the ex-ceo of alameda research, have both pleaded guilty to financial crimes associated with ftx. bankman-fried stepped down as the ceo of ftx when the business filed for bankruptcy. it is unclear why bankman-fried allegedly misappropriated customer funds and misled investors and lenders.

By Evey Lovelace

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