Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former chief executive officer of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, made his first appearance in a federal court on Tuesday. This comes weeks after his extradition to the United States, where he faces multiple charges relating to the collapse of FTX.
SBF’s Trial to Begin in October
In the session, SBF pleaded not guilty to the eight counts of criminal charges against him before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. As a result, SBF’s trial has been scheduled by the judge to begin on October 2nd, 2023.
SBF’s plea yesterday could mean a “lengthy legal battle” incoming. A federal prosecutor Danielle Sassoon said the US authorities have enough solid evidence and, in the coming weeks, will turn over hundreds of thousands of documents in their defense against the disgraced crypto founder.
The trial scheduled for October is expected to last for about four weeks, according to Sassoon. SBF is likely to face 115 years in jail if convicted of the eight charges, including wire fraud, conspiracy to misuse customer funds, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and so on.
Alameda’s CEO Caroline Ellison Might Testify Against SBF
Noteworthily, two close ex-associates of Bankman-Fried, namely Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX’s CTO Gary Wang, have already entered guilty pleas on charges against them, all in connection with FTX’s collapse.
Both Ellison and Wang are reportedly cooperating with prosecutors and are likely to testify against SBF during the trial.
Until the trial begins, SBF will probably remain on house arrest at his parents’ home in Palot Alto, California. Bankman-Fried was able to secure a release on such a condition, including agreeing to surrender his passport on a $250 million bond.
Interestingly, SBF recently requested that the identity of two individuals that facilitated his bail be redacted.