Charges against SBF: FTX founder pleads not guilty

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF)

Yesterday the first day of trial of the indictment against SBF began. The FTX founder pleaded not guilty in court. Authorities imposed further restrictions on him after funds were transferred from FTX Group wallets. Further negotiations will not take place until October.

Charges against SBF: FTX founder pleads not guilty

Sam Bankman-Fried (mostly SBF ) founded his trading company Alameda Research in 2017. In 2019 he founded his crypto exchange FTX. Through the cooperation of the two companies, which belonged to the FTX Group , he embezzled customer deposits amounting to over ten billion US dollars.

He used it to finance high-risk trading, investments in other companies, or he used the investments as bribes for politicians. In November, the construct collapsed after mass withdrawals by customers, which competitor Binance caused by critical statements.

SBF is logically considered to be the mastermind behind the scam. The Bahamas extradited the American to the United States in December. There, the prosecutor’s office for the New York Southern District indicts him on eight counts. Allegations include telecommunications fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the US, and violating campaign finance laws.

SBF has pleaded not guilty to all of the eight counts of the charges. That emerges from a report by Reuters . The FTX founder directly contradicts the confessions that his closest colleagues Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison made just before Christmas. The two pleaded guilty.

FTX court hearings could cause drama

Observers believe there will be a mud fight between the members of the former FTX management floor in the future. SBF stayed the course after his company crashed, always pleading his innocence except for one small slip .

It will be a few more months before further negotiations take place. The Manhattan court scheduled the next hearing for October 2, 2023. A four-week trial is scheduled to begin on that day.

Then Ellison and Wang will likely testify specifically against SBF. They hope this will result in a reduced sentence. They were already willing to cooperate with the authorities. Ryan Salame was SBF’s second-in-command. He, too, has already handed over his former boss to the authorities.

SBF claims that the disappeared customer deposits have been lost from sight. However, Ellison told prosecutors that the funds were stolen and then deliberately covered up .

The three main suspects are currently all at large. SBF posted one of the highest bails in history and has been under house arrest in California’s Palo Alto ever since.

If the American is found guilty on all counts, he faces up to 115 years in prison.

Is SBF stealing funds from Alameda and FTX?

A few days ago, SBF and its companies were once again the focus of the crypto scene. Sudden sell-offs of Solana and ERC-20 tokens raise questions. Who is selling the assets and for what reason?

One of the theses: SBF gained access to the company’s hot wallets and now wants to secure reserves. So far, however, there is no concrete evidence that he is the perpetrator. He explained :

I’m none of that. I do not and could not move any of these funds; I no longer have access to them.

SBF suspects that the transfers are triggered by official bodies. Meanwhile, the price of affected assets fell significantly. Solana was particularly hard hit. The FTX Group had assets of over 48 million SOL as recently as November. Now there is a fear that these investments could be sold off and flood the market.

The responsible judge, Lewis Kaplan, issued new restrictions because of the incident. SBF may no longer gain access to funds from the FTX Group.

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