A New Twist in Bankman-Fried's Legal Journey
FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried is looking at an increasingly complicated legal battle, with the original charges against him being divided into two separate trials, due to his supposed misconduct while leading the crypto exchange.
Breakdown of the Charges
A grand total of 13 accusations have been lodged against Bankman-Fried, encompassing fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and bribery. The comprehensive trial, covering all these charges, was due to commence on Oct. 2.
However, a new decision has been made to branch off five of these charges into a distinct trial slated for March 11, 2024, as per a June 15 ruling from United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan.
Extradition and Additional Charges
Initially, Bankman-Fried was extradited to the U.S. in December 2022 on a sum of eight charges. However, subsequent indictments in February and March 2023 added another five charges to his case.
This division of charges occurs as Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors requested permission from Bahamian authorities to pursue Bankman-Fried on the additional five charges filed after his extradition from the island nation.
A Disputed Legal Strategy
Legal representatives for the FTX co-founder have attempted to nullify these additional charges, arguing that he could not be tried for charges brought forward after his extradition.
Yet, on June 14, DOJ attorneys declared their intention to proceed with the original eight charges against Bankman-Fried, anticipating a protracted legal process if the court decided to wait for the approval of a motion filed by Bankman-Fried in The Bahamas.
Scope of the Two Trials
The March trial will focus on the allegations of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, bank fraud conspiracy, and securities and derivatives fraud.
The remaining charges pertain to alleged wire, derivatives, and securities fraud and conspiracy that took place at FTX and Alameda Research, in addition to allegations of money laundering.