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Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty in FTX fraud case




Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced co-founder and CEO of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges in federal court, as expected.


The onetime billionaire, before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, entered his plea to eight criminal counts ranging from wire fraud to conspiracy to pursue money laundering, Reuters noted.


If convicted, the 30-year-old, who has been accused of defrauding investors and FTX customers, could face up to 115 years in prison.


Kaplan was said to have set an October 2 trial date and a federal prosecutor noted that the SBF trial could last about four weeks.


Earlier on Tuesday, the one-time crypto wunderkind revealed that his parents have been bombarded with threats since his arrest. He sought to have the identities of two co-sponsors of his massive bond remain anonymous, according to a court filing.


“Mr. Bankman-Fried’s parents have received a steady stream of threatening correspondence, including communications expressing a desire that they suffer physical harm,”

read the filing from Bankman-Fried’s lawyer.


“There is serious cause for concern that the two additional sureties would face similar intrusions on their privacy as well as threats and harassment if their names appear unredacted on their bonds or their identities are otherwise publicly disclosed.”

The filing stated that federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who are handling the fraud case against Bankman-Fried, had no objection to such a move.


Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas on Dec. 13 and was extradited to New York to face charges a little over a week later. While being transported, prosecutors revealed that two of Bankman-Fried’s top associates, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, had pleaded guilty in the case and had agreed to cooperate with authorities.


Bankman-Fried’s arrest came just over a month after the implosion of his crypto currency exchange FTX, which caused billions of dollars in customer deposits to vanish. The firm filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 when Bankman-Fried was ousted from the company he’d co-founded in 2019.


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate could face up to 115 years in prison if convicted. He has previously acknowledged making mistakes at FTX but said he does not believe he has criminal liability.


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