Former FTX Chief Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to Several Charges
Former FTX CEO denies fraud and money laundering charges; court addresses health concerns and trial preparation.
Fri, 25 Aug 2023, 08:37 am UTC
Sam Bankman-Fried, previously the top executive of the cryptocurrency platform FTX, has entered a not guilty plea in response to accusations of fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance malpractice.
Bankman-Fried was brought before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn to answer the updated allegations. He was slapped with seven individual charges covering fraud and money laundering. In addition, there was a newly introduced accusation related to campaign finance. For every charge, his response was a firm denial of wrongdoing.
During these legal proceedings, Bankman-Fried's legal team made a point to address their client's health. They informed the court about his medication, Adderall, which he had not received for almost two weeks. Additionally, they emphasized his vegan lifestyle and urged the court to provide a vegan-friendly diet while he's in custody.
The defense team wasn't just concerned about their client's well-being. They also expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of Bankman-Fried’s detention since August 11. They argued that the current circumstances hamper their client’s ability to adequately prepare for the upcoming trial. They dismissed some proposed solutions, labelling them as mere "fictions."
The charges against the former FTX leader center around alleged misappropriation of client funds for his personal and political agendas. While the original charges of fraud and money laundering came up in December, the claim about misusing campaign finance surfaced recently.
After this session in the New York courthouse on August 22, a significant development took place. Bankman-Fried's bail was annulled. This resulted in a somber scene where he exited the courtroom under the escort of law enforcement officers, his hands restrained.
Before this court appearance, there was an effort by Bankman-Fried to negotiate some leniency. He had proposed to the court a request for five weekdays outside confinement to collaborate with his attorneys. While the request wasn't fully approved, a directive was given for him to spend around seven hours with his legal representatives beyond the jail's walls.
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