Sam Bankman-Fried may face separate trial for superseding charges, as per report.
It is reported that a federal judge in the United States is considering splitting the criminal charges against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried into two trials after a proposal from prosecutors. The Wall Street Journal reported on June 15 that Judge Lewis Kaplan of the District Court for the Southern District of New York was deciding whether to dismiss or separate charges in Bankman-Fried’s criminal case. This comes after an “imaginative” argument from the former FTX CEO’s legal team. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers filed a motion arguing that he should not face charges that were not included in the extradition papers from the Bahamas to the U.S. in 2022.
Originally, the indictment for SBF included eight criminal charges, but a superseding indictment in February and a subsequent charge added in March increased the total to 13. If the judge decides to sever the trials, Bankman-Fried could face one trial focused on the additional charges of allegedly bribing a Chinese government official and other matters related to fraud at FTX and Alameda Research.
The U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors stated that they were prepared to try SBF on the original indictment starting in October. The process of deciding on the remaining five charges will be left to Judge Kaplan. The Wall Street Journal reported that the judge suggested he was unlikely to outright dismiss any criminal charges prior to trial.
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Following the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX in November 2022 and allegations of misuse of customer funds, Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas to the U.S. as part of a case initiated by the Justice Department. SBF has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has largely been restricted to his parents’ California home as part of his bail conditions.
Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang pleaded guilty to charges related to the alleged financial entanglements between FTX and Alameda. FTX’s bankruptcy case has also been proceeding in a Delaware court.
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