Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to All Charges

  • Sam Bankman Fried pleaded not guilty to all eight charges against him during his first appearance in court this year, and his tril is now set to begin in early October.
  • The presiding judge has modified SBF’s bail conditions to include a prohibition from accessing or transferring assets of connected to FTX and its affiliates.

Former CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried leaves the Federal Court in New York after pleading not guilty, 3 January, 2022.
lev radin/Shutterstock

The former CEO of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him during his first appearance in a New York courthouse this year, Reuters reported on 3 January.

On Tuesday, disgraced CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) pleaded not-guilty to all eight charges against him — including securities fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance law violations — which could result in 115 years in prison if he is convicted. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York has scheduled a tentative date for the start of SBF’s trial for 2 October 2023.

One of the prosecutors in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon, informed the court that her team would provide SBF’s lawyers with documents of their evidence in the next two weeks, and noted that this would likely be a four-week trial. Sassoon further asked the court to modify SBF’s bail conditions to include a prohibition from accessing or transferring assets connected to FTX or its affiliates, which the judge agreed to.

During the same hearing, Judge Kaplan granted the request from SBF’s legal team to redact the identifying information of the two individuals that co-signed Bankman-Fried’s $250 million bail bond, though he gave the media until 12 January to object to this decision. In their request yesterday, SBF’s legal team argued revealing the identities of the two two-signers would pose a significant threat to their privacy and security.

Sam Bankman-Fried is accused of illegally taking assets from the FTX exchange to fund the investments and expenses of its sister company Alameda Research without the consent of knowledge of users and investors. The individual is also facing charges for violating campaign finance laws by using dark-money groups to make large political donations.

Former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang were hit with similar charges last year, but quickly pleaded guilty and started cooperating with the U.S. government. In her plea deal, Ellison claimed that FTX acted as a “borrowing facility” for Alameda between 2019 and 2022, and that she and SBF signed off on “materially misleading financial statements” for Alameda lenders knowing it was illegal.

Related Coverage
New FTX CEO Considers Restarting the Exchange
  • The new CEO of FTX, John J. Ray III, told the Wall Street Journal that had formed a task force to explore the option of restarting the international exchange.
  • Ray noted he was willing to revive the platform if that could recover more value for the company’s customers than liquidating its assets.
January 19, 2023, 6:42 PM


DoJ Seizes 55M Robinhood Shares Connected to Sam Bankman-Fried
  • The U.S. Department of Justice has seized close to $470 million in Robinhood stock, and an additional $20 million in U.S. currency, as part of its criminal case against Sam Bankman-Fried.
  • Lawyers for SBF argued last week that the Robinhood shares were bought legitimately by SBF, using money borrowed from Alameda, and that he was relying on them to fund his defense.
Sam Bankman-Fried Tries to Keep Ownership of $450M in Robinhood Shares
  • Lawyers for SBF are seeking to block debtors from taking control over $450 million in Robinhood shares, arguing that SBF was relying on his stake to fund his criminal defense.
  • Another argument was that SBF had legitimately bought the shares using money borrowed from Alameda Research, one of the few loans that was well documented in the company.