Sam Bankman-Fried Issues Not-Guilty Plea in FTX Case

The FTX founder was arrested in the Bahamas last month and faces charges including wire fraud and money laundering

article-image

FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried | Exclusive art by Axel Rangel modified by Blockworks

share

Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to a slate of alleged financial crimes before US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan on Tuesday, though whether that plea will stand remains to be seen.

The founder of crypto exchange FTX, which filed for bankruptcy in November, was arrested in the Bahamas last month. He faces charges including wire fraud, money laundering and violating campaign finance laws, which altogether carry a maximum penalty of 115 years in prison.

Bankman-Fried was released on $250 million bail last month and ordered to stay under house arrest at his parents’ home in California.

New FTX CEO John Ray testified to the US House Financial Services Committee last month that the exchange lost $8 billion of customer money. 

Though Bankman-Fried has acknowledged a lack of focus on risk management at FTX, he has denied commingling funds in various interviews with media outlets in recent weeks. 

A spokesperson for Bankman-Fried declined to comment on the plea.

The not guilty plea comes after former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges last month. 

Ilan Graff, Wang’s lawyer, told Blockworks in an email at the time that his client “has accepted responsibility for his actions and takes seriously his obligations as a cooperating witness.”

Seth Taube, a former federal prosecutor and ex-SEC official, previously told Blockworks that if convicted, Bankman-Fried could receive a decades-long sentence.

“If he cooperates, he may get out before he needs a cane,” Taube added at the time.

Despite the not guilty plea, Bankman-Fried could change his decision going forward. 

Michael Milken — an executive at Drexel Burnham Lambert charged with racketeering and securities fraud — pleaded not guilty in 1989 before changing to a guilty plea on six felony counts the following year.


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

ao cover.jpg

Research

Arweave recently launched the testnet for AO computer, a new messaging protocol that will sit atop a PoS network and aims to become a scalable global compute platform through parallel processing and modularity.

article-image

Ore’s price more than tripled as the supply of new tokens paused

article-image

I spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about crypto securities law — and I can’t see how ETH is now a securities offering under Howey

article-image

Regulators in South Korea, Japan and Singapore could follow Hong Kong’s lead as Asia responds to spot bitcoin ETF approval in the US

article-image

Martin Grant worked with the Fed for roughly 30 years before leaving his position in 2022

article-image

BitGo CEO Mike Belshe shared his thoughts on the halving and bitcoin ETFs in an interview with Blockworks

article-image

Crypto markets were largely the only ones open over a tense weekend, and they took a beating for it