Crypto King's Downfall
Federal prosecutors reject Sam Bankman-Fried's defense claims and maintain criminal charges for alleged investor theft in his cryptocurrency fund.
Following his December extradition from the Bahamas, Sam Bankman-Fried, 31, has been residing with his parents in Palo Alto, California. This arrangement came after he posted a $250 million personal recognizance bond.
Charges Against Bankman-Fried
Bankman-Fried, the CEO of FTX and Alameda Research, has entered a not guilty plea to a range of charges including investor fraud, misappropriation of customer deposits, extravagant real estate acquisitions, political donations, and risky trades. The U.S. Attorney, Damian Williams, considers this case to be one of the biggest frauds in American history.
In March, Bankman-Fried faced new charges in the indictment for allegedly violating the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The charges state that Bankman-Fried is accused of paying $40 million in bribes to Chinese officials, with the goal of unfreezing $1 billion in cryptocurrency from early 2021.
Defense Lawyers' Motion for Dismissal
Bankman-Fried's defense lawyers have requested the dismissal of all charges, contending that the original indictment's eight counts lack specificity and clarity. They also argue that the additional charges are barred by the Extradition Treaty between the U.S. and the Bahamas, which prohibits charges not approved at the time of extradition.
Prosecutors have urged Judge Lewis A. Kaplan to proceed with all charges, countering the defense's claims. They assert that the original charges are legally sufficient, and they are seeking permission from the Bahamas to include the newest charges in the proceedings.
Prosecutors' Statement on Bankman-Fried's Alleged Misconduct
Prosecutors argue that Bankman-Fried's diversion of funds for political donations suggests a motive to defraud FTX's customers and investors, aiming to gain personal capital and improve his business's regulatory prospects in the US.
FTX's Bankruptcy and Trial Date
FTX entered bankruptcy in November when it encountered a financial shortfall, similar to a bank run. A trial date has been tentatively set for the fall.