US prosecutors ask to remove new Bankman-Fried charges from Oct trial

US prosecutors ask to remove new Bankman-Fried charges from Oct trial
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrives at federal court in New York, New York, USA, 30 March 2023. Bankman-Fried returned to court and was charged with directing 40 million US dollar in bribes to Chinese officials to unfreeze assets relating to his cryptocurrency business. EPA-EFE/PETER FOLEY

U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge to hold a separate trial for Sam Bankman-Fried, the indicted founder of now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, who faces new charges of foreign bribery, bank fraud and conspiracy.

Prosecutors added those charges this year, after Bankman-Fried’s December 2022 extradition from the Bahamas in the wake of FTX’s collapse. An initial eight-count indictment accused the one-time billionaire of stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers and lying to investors and lenders.

Bankman-Fried, 31, has pleaded not guilty to all 13 counts. He had asked U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan to dismiss the new charges or alternatively separate them from his Oct. 2 trial.

A court in the Bahamas, where FTX was based, on Tuesday temporarily barred the country’s government from agreeing to let U.S. prosecutors pursue the new charges.

In Wednesday’s court filing, federal prosecutors in Manhattan cited uncertainty around the decision from the Bahamas, and asked Kaplan to schedule a trial on the five counts for the first quarter of 2024. Prosecutors have said they will drop the charges if the Caribbean nation does not consent to them.

Kaplan is expected to hear arguments on Thursday at a 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) hearing.

Lawyers for Bankman-Fried have asked that at least 11 of the charges be dismissed. They have said the Bahamas also did not consent to a charge of violating U.S. campaign finance laws brought before his extradition.

(Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru and by Luc Cohen in New York; editing by Jason Neely, Elaine Hardcastle)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

[%% img-description %%]

The Spy Bill: An autocratic roadmap to State Capture 2.0

Join Heidi Swart in conversation with Anton Harber and Marianne Merten as they discuss a concerning push to pass a controversial “Spy Bill” into law by May 2024. Tues 5 Dec at 12pm, live, online and free of charge.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options