SBF Enters Not Guilty Plea to FTX Fraud-Related Charges
Sam Bankman-Fried, who once helmed a crypto empire and represented an industry, pleaded not guilty to eight criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, in a U.S. District Court in Manhattan court on Tuesday.
Bankman-Fried was a self-styled “elder statesman” of the crypto universe after founding Alameda Research in 2017, succeeding with tactics including financial arbitrage. He later created the crypto exchange FTX in 2019.
Related: Who Is FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried and What Did He Do? Everything You Need to Know About the Disgraced Crypto King
The Securities and Exchange Commission has contended that FTX was lending out customer money to Alameda, which, broadly speaking is illegal, as the company was trading customer funds without their consent. The current CEO of the company, John J. Ray III, called it “really just old-fashioned embezzlement” in a Congressional hearing in mid-December.
Bankman-Fried faced eight criminal charges in the District Court, including wire fraud, all of which he pleaded not guilty to today.
Reuters reported last week he was expected to enter that plea.
He was also filmed entering the courthouse on Tuesday.
Sam Bankman-Fried has arrived in court for his arraignment. We’re told he will plead not guilty to all the charges against him. pic.twitter.com/yakSLkOus8
— Connell McShane (@connellmcshane) January 3, 2023
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas before being extradited to the U.S. in late December. The SEC has also authorized charges against him.
Two fellow executives, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges on December 21 and agreed to cooperate on the case, said the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams.
“This investigation is very much ongoing,” Williams said at the time.
He also said it would be far from the last announcement on the case.
“If you participated in misconduct at FTX or Alameda, now is the time to get ahead of fit. We are moving quickly, and our patience is not eternal,” he added.