Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former CEO of FTX, has pled not guilty to all criminal charges he’s facing related to the collapse of the crypto exchange, including wire fraud, securities fraud and violations of campaign finance laws.
It has been reported that multiple observers in the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York on January 3 reported that Bankman-Fried’s attorneys had entered a not-guilty plea on SBF’s behalf in his first court appearance since December. Bankman-Fried faces eight criminal counts, which could result in 115 years in prison should he be convicted.
However, Assistant US Attorney Danielle Sassoon, one of the prosecutors in the case against the former FTX executive, said her team intended to provide SBF’s lawyers with documents of evidence within the next two weeks. Reuters reported that Sassoon was anticipating a four-week trial, which court records showed scheduled for October 2.
The report said that the former FTX CEO had been under house arrest at his parent’s home in California since December 22 but returned to New York for the plea hearing. Judge Lewis Kaplan also stipulated that Bankman-Fried’s bail was contingent on him not accessing or transferring any cryptocurrency or assets from FTX or Alameda, likely in response to reports he had moved funds from Alameda wallets while at home.
Likewise, at the same hearing, the judge granted a request from SBF’s legal team to redact identifying information on individuals acting as sureties for his $250-million bond. Bankman-Fried’s parents have reportedly been “the target of intense media scrutiny, harassment, and threats” since posting his bail in December.
The prosecution’s case against SBF hinges on allegations that he and other FTX executives used assets from the crypto exchange to fund investments through Alameda Research without the consent or knowledge of users or investors. The exchange filed for bankruptcy on November 11.
Thus, FTX co-founder Gary Wang and former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison have already pled guilty to related charges, with the latter claiming FTX was a “borrowing facility” for Alameda from 2019 to 2022. John Ray took over as CEO of FTX amid bankruptcy proceedings and also spoke to lawmakers in a December hearing exploring the collapse of the firm.