The FTX show continues to become a significant trend in the crypto market as the community waits for hearing on SBF’s frauds in the crypto exchange FTX. The fate of FTX’s bankrupt founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, hangs in the balance as a judge is set to rule on his trial schedule and bail conditions in an upcoming hearing. Bankman-Fried, who founded the popular cryptocurrency exchange FTX, filed for bankruptcy last year.
US Judge To Consider Restrictions On SBF
On Friday, a judge in the United States will review the limitations that should be imposed on Sam Bankman-Fried while he is out on bail and whether to postpone the October 2 trial date for the FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder, who is facing fraud charges.
Bankman-Fried is fighting to avoid incarceration after Judge Lewis Kaplan expressed concerns last month that the 31-year-old former billionaire was pushing the boundaries of his $250 million bail conditions by communicating in ways that could not be monitored.
Federal prosecutors have charged Bankman-Fried in Manhattan for allegedly committing a massive fraud by diverting billions of dollars in customer funds from the cryptocurrency exchange to cover losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Prosecutors have also accused Bankman-Fried of making illegal political contributions worth tens of millions of dollars to gain influence in Washington, D.C.
Recently, additional charges of fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of his bankrupt exchange in November have been filed against him, bringing the total number of charges he faces to 12. Bankman-Fried had pleaded not guilty to the initial eight charges in January.
Bankman’s Trial May Get Delayed
The legal team representing Sam Bankman-Fried has informed U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan that they may need to postpone his scheduled criminal trial on October 2. The lawyers argued that more time might be required to review the evidence and prepare an adequate defense.
In a letter addressed to Judge Kaplan, the attorneys representing the former billionaire stated that federal prosecutors in Manhattan had not yet handed over evidence obtained from electronic devices belonging to Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, who were previously two of Bankman-Fried’s closest associates.
Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government. Last Friday, prosecutors suggested that Bankman-Fried be allowed to use a flip phone with no internet access and a basic laptop with limited functions but be prohibited from using any other electronic communication devices while on bail.
Following allegations by the government that Bankman-Fried attempted to contact FTX CEO John Ray and an in-house lawyer, possibly in an attempt to tamper with witnesses, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and Judge Kaplan have been reviewing the conditions of Bankman-Fried’s bail.
Bankman-Fried’s defense lawyers argued that he was merely trying to offer assistance and not interfere with the case.
Sam Bankman-Fried leveraged the surging values of bitcoin and other digital assets to amass an estimated net worth of $26 billion and became a significant donor to U.S. political campaigns. However, his fortune dissipated after concerns about fund commingling between FTX and his hedge fund, Alameda Research, triggered a cryptocurrency version of a bank run at FTX.
Bankman-Fried was released on $250 million bail and has been under house arrest at his parent’s residence in Palo Alto, California. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has suggested that his bail could be revoked following allegations that he attempted to tamper with witnesses. However, over the weekend, prosecutors proposed that Bankman-Fried be allowed to remain free under strict restrictions on his use of technology.