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Explainer – What happens next in the Sam Bankman-Fried fraud case

By JackQueen

(Reuters) – FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to fraud and other charges related to the collapse of his $32 billion crypto empire in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, with a judge setting a trial date in October , while both sides brace themselves for mountains of evidence.

This is what awaits you in this article

What happens next?

The government will turn documents and evidence over to Bankman-Fried’s attorneys in a proceeding known as discovery. Prosecutors said Tuesday they have hundreds of thousands of documents and more are on the way as they continue to gather evidence. Discovery can take months, especially when there are disputes over what evidence the defense is allowed to see before trial. The documents can include anything from emails to bank statements and internal FTX data.

Are you investigating?

Yes. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said his office will continue to make announcements as the investigation expands. In December, he revealed that Bankman-Fried associates Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang had pleaded guilty to defrauding investors and had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Williams has specifically urged any FTX insiders with information about the company’s demise to come forward.

When does the process take place?

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan set a hearing date for October 2, but it’s not uncommon for the schedule to be pushed back as new legal issues and evidence emerge. Pre-trial litigation is critical as both sides push for an advantage over the evidence the jury sees and what legal arguments can be presented to them. Neither side gave any indication Tuesday that they expect significant delays, but legal experts say similar cases have taken a year or more to reach juries.


no Defendants can change their plea deal at any time, and their attorneys often negotiate with prosecutors for a potential plea deal. This usually means that a defendant will plead guilty to certain counts in exchange for prosecutors dropping others.

Bankman-Fried, 30, has given no indication he intends to pursue a plea deal, and prosecutors have not indicated they would offer one. He has apologized to FTX customers but said he doesn’t think he’s criminally liable.


The ex-mogul faces a maximum of 115 years in prison, but it’s unlikely he’ll face that sentence even if he’s convicted on all charges. Judges use their discretion to decide sentences, and after a verdict, prosecutors and defense often argue about an appropriate sentence. In doing so, mitigating and aggravating circumstances or reasons why an accused deserves a lenient or severe sentence must be weighed against each other.

What about the ftx bankruptcy case?

FTX declared bankruptcy in Delaware on November 11th. The US bankruptcy is still in its early stages and is proceeding without Bankman-Fried’s direct involvement.

The company’s current CEO, John Ray, told members of the US Congress in December that FTX’s efforts to recover crypto assets from customers would continue. Bankman-Fried has not played a role at the company since resigning in November, Ray said.

(Reporting by Jack Queen in New York; Additional reporting by Dietrich Knauth in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Matthew Lewis)

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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