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In the presence of the judge and his lawyers, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, SBF pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The former CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried, popularly called SBF, pleaded not guilty to all eight counts of federal charges in New York on the 3rd of January. The exchange founder was brought before a judge in the US District Court about two months after FTX crashed and caused an earthquake in the crypto industry. All eight charges were related to the collapse of the now-bankrupt crypto company FTX and hedge fund Alameda Research.
The criminal charges against the former billionaire include conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud, conspiracy to misuse customer funds, and more. Before he arrived at the courthouse on Tuesday in a black SUV, a crowd was already awaiting his presence. His arrival triggered the mob, who had been on alert with their cameras. Photographers struggled among the scrum to get the perfect pictures of the former crypto billionaire, who was hauled by security through the multitude.
SBF Pleads Not Guilty to US Criminal Charges
In the presence of the judge and his lawyers, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, SBF pleaded not guilty to all charges. Coinspeaker reported before the court appearance that SBF was to plead not guilty to his charges. Reports revealed that the move to make the former plead not guilty has been under intense analysis by his lawyers. Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried’s co-executives, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, have both pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them. While Elison faces 7 count charges, Wang is dealing with 4. Both of them are currently facing civil penalties from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
If SBF is eventually found guilty, regardless of his plea of not guilty, he could face up to 115 years in prison. As it stands, the court case could turn into a prolonged legal battle with many court dates. The trial date is already set for the 2nd of October, 2023.
Former federal prosecutor Danya Perry, an ex-US attorney for the Southern District of New York, believes that the Department of Justice has a good case against Bankman-Fried. Many believe that a not-guilty plea from SBF could give prosecutors more time to dig out more evidence to fight the case.
Earlier yesterday, SBF’s attorneys also filed a motion to seal the names of two individuals who have offered to help with a multimillion-dollar bail. The lawyers claimed that the case’s visibility and the defendant had already attached risk to SBF’s parents. They claimed that the parents “have in recent weeks become the target of intense media scrutiny, harassment, and threats. Among other things, Mr. Bankman-Fried’s parents have reviewed a steady stream of threatening correspondence, including communications expressing a desire that they suffer physical harm,” Judge Lewis Kaplan approved the motion.