Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to stealing billions in client funds in first court appearance since being released on record $250M bail plead guilty.
Bankman-Fried, 30, pleaded U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in a Manhattan court after spending Christmas Under house arrest at his parents’ home in California.
Rear The collapse of his star-studded £21bn cryptocurrency empire November, Bankman-Fried Arrested in the Bahamasthe home of his now-defunct company.
former billionaire Charged Indicted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for fraud and violations of campaign finance laws.
If convicted, he could have been jailed for up to 115 years.
He was also indicted for what prosecutors said “One of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history”.
He allegedly used FTX client deposits to back his Alameda Research hedge fund, buy real estate and receive millions of dollars in political donations.
In the period between FTX’s bankruptcy filing and his arrest, Bankman-Fried appeared in the media multiple times, admitting to making mistakes while running the cryptocurrency exchange but denying criminal responsibility.
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Bankman-Fried made the plea after two of Bankman-Fried’s closest associates pleaded guilty last month.
Alameda’s CEO Caroline Ellison pleaded guilty to seven criminal charges last month, while FTX’s former CTO Gary Wang pleaded guilty to four.
The parties also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and resolve civil cases with the SEC.
FTX’s new chief executive, John Ray, has said the company is run by “very inexperienced people.”