Cryptocurrencies: the second trial of Sam Bankman-Fried will not take place

Bankman-Fried: the end of the era of the cryptocurrency tycoon?
  • Jonathan Rowe
  • 10.01.2024

Federal prosecutors in New York have refused to retry former crypto infringement tycoon Sam Bankman Fried, who was found guilty in his first trial on charges of illegal political fundraising and corruption.

The "SBF" founder and head of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX was convicted in early November on all seven counts of embezzling billions of dollars from customer deposits without authorization.

He faces up to 110 years in prison. Sentencing will be handed down by Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan on March 28.

The second trial, originally scheduled to begin on March 11, 2024, will proceed on five counts that federal prosecutor Damian Williams has decided not to include in the first trial.

The main charges are conspiracy to bribe foreign officials and contributions to politicians.

These charges were excluded from the first trial because they were not part of the agreement reached with Bahamian authorities to extradite Sam Bankman-Fried in December 2022.

Prosecutor Williams justified the decision not to hold a second trial by saying that the Bahamas had not yet given the go-ahead and that U.S. authorities were seeking a "quick resolution" of the SBF case.

The new trial could delay the return to victims of funds seized in the lawsuit, Damian Williams argued in a letter to Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan filed with the court.

He also noted that the fact of alleged corruption and illegal political campaign contributions could be raised in the first trial and factored into the sentence.

Sam Bankman-Fried was accused of authorizing about $150 million in bribes to Chinese authorities to unlock ftx assets in China.

He was also accused of using ftx client money to donate to political candidates, including Joe Biden.

It should be noted that Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. He has stated that he will appeal the verdict.

In any event, the Sam Bankman-Fried case is one of the most high-profile trials in the history of the cryptocurrency industry. It could have far-reaching implications for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the United States and elsewhere.

 

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