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Sam Bankman-Fried says he is innocent of fraud

Officially denying the allegations that he cheated clients and investors, the former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX has spoken out against the allegations.

Sam Bankman-Fried entered a plea of not guilty before a court in the United States on allegations that he used client deposits at FTX to support his other company, Alameda Research, as well as to make political donations and purchases of property.

Following his detention one month ago, he was freed after posting a bail bond for $250 million (£208 million).

However, if he is found guilty, he may spend more than 100 years behind bars.

The date of the trial has been scheduled on October 2 by Judge Lewis Kaplan.

The whole cryptocurrency sector has been jolted as a result of the inquiry, which has already resulted in two of Mr. Bankman-closest Fried’s colleagues pleading guilty and collaborating with the probe.

In interviews conducted before to his arrest, the former millionaire, who is now 30 years old, recognised that he had failed, but he blamed his “mistakes” for the failures.

As the court process moves along, it is fairly uncommon for defendants to modify their pleas as the case moves forward.

Mr. Bankman-Fried, who established FTX in 2019, was one of the most prominent personalities in the cryptocurrency sector. He was well-known for his political connections, celebrity endorsements, and bailouts of other companies that were having difficulty succeeding.

However, in November, a flood of client withdrawals that were spurred by rumours of the company’s unstable finances pushed FTX to declare bankruptcy and announce that it was missing billions of dollars worth of money.

The collapse at the platform, which enabled clients to purchase and trade digital tokens, was blamed on “intentional fraud,” according to statements made by federal prosecutors at a news conference held the previous month.

The public prosecutors accused Mr. Bankman-Fried of embezzling consumer monies from FTX in order to pay off debts incurred by his other business, Alameda, and to make additional investments.

They revealed eight criminal accusations, some of which include crimes including campaign finance violations, wire fraud, and money laundering. Mr. Bankman-Fried was also the target of legal action filed by financial authorities.

In December, Mr. Bankman-Fried was taken into custody in the Bahamas, which was also the location of FTX’s headquarters.

After being extradited to the United States, he was eventually released after posting a bail bond in the amount of $250 million. The terms of his release mandated that he wear an electronic monitoring bracelet at all times and that he spend the most of his time in the house in California where his parents live.

His parents co-signed the bond, which means that they will be responsible for paying it in full if Mr. Bankman-Fried does not show up in court.

In documents filed with the court on Tuesday, counsel for Sam Bankman-family Fried’s said that Sam Bankman-parents Fried’s had received threats if the names of the other donors were made public. That question was answered favourably by Judge Kaplan.

David Faber
David Faber
I am a Business Journalist of The National Era
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