FTX founder caught up in legal whirlpool, US prosecutors add new charges and propose separate trial

Source: bitcoinist; translation: Blockchain Knight

As legal networks continue to tighten, US prosecutors are seeking a separate trial for Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, to deal with new charges against him.

These new charges, including foreign bribery, bank fraud, and conspiracy, were added after his extradition from the Bahamas in December 2022, when FTX collapsed.

Sam Bankman-Fried was once a billionaire who ran one of the most famous crypto exchanges, but now faces a series of serious charges.

Initially, he was charged with eight counts, including stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers and misleading investors and lenders, but after his extradition, the list of charges was expanded to 13.

After he returned to the United States, prosecutors brought five new charges against Bankman-Fried.

Now, the 31-year-old entrepreneur has maintained his innocence and asked US District Chief Judge Lewis Kaplan to dismiss the new charges or hold a separate trial on October 2 if necessary.

Meanwhile, a temporary injunction was issued by the Bahamian court where FTX is based on Tuesday, temporarily blocking the Bahamian government from approving new charges against Bankman-Fried.

Due to the uncertainty brought by the Bahamian court, Manhattan’s US federal prosecutor has proposed a separate trial for the five charges. If approved, the trial will take place in the first quarter of 2024.

The prosecutor has promised to drop the charges if the Bahamas refuses to approve them.

A hearing to consider these issues is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, at which time Judge Kaplan will hear arguments from both sides.

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried last month requested the dismissal of charges against him.

The controversial founder and his lawyers proposed to dismiss 10 of the 13 charges he faces, with the three charges not proposed for dismissal being conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to commit commodities fraud.

His legal team maintains that several of the charges were added after he was extradited from the Bahamas, and that four of the five recently added charges “basically violate special provisions of the treaty.”

Currently, the legal team is pushing the court to dismiss 10 of the 13 charges brought against Bankman-Fried.

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