Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Fraud, Conspiracy Charges
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded “not guilty” to eight charges in federal court, including wire fraud and campaign finance allegations.
The former CEO of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange made his second appearance in a New York courthouse on Tuesday. Bankman-Fried's first appearance last week resulted in him being released on a personal recognizance bond and, shortly after, flying back to his parents' home in California. His not guilty plea today was expected, according to an earlier report in the Wall Street Journal.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, the presiding judge in the case, set a target date for the trial to begin of on or around Oct. 2, according to Inner City Press.
Prosecutors alleged that Bankman-Fried “misappropriated” customer deposits, using client funds to pay for FTX sister company Alameda Research’s expenses and debts, and lied about FTX’s financial health in the process.
Today's plea, which Bankman-Fried can change, at least for now sets up a future trial in court where prosecutors will spell out how they believe he violated federal laws in defrauding his customers, investors and lenders, as well as charges with respect to campaign finance regulations.
Judge Kaplan, also granted Bankman-Fried's application to seal the names of the additional co-signers, addition to his parents, to his $250 million bail bond. His lawyers had argued that there were safety and privacy concerns with revealing the names of the co-signers.
UPDATE (Jan. 3, 19:15 UTC): Added decision by judge in final paragraph.
UPDATE (Jan. 3, 19:29 UTC): Added information about target trial start date.