Sam Bankman-Fried will make his appearance in US federal court in Manhattan Tuesday, as he faces eight criminal counts accusing him of defrauding FTX investors out of billions of dollars.
The founder of the crypto exchange made his first appearance last month, where a judge released him on $250 million bond. He remains under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, Calif.
In Tuesday’s hearing, SBF widely expected to plead not guilty in the cases, which could result in a sentence of up to 115 years in prison.
Prosecutors accused the disgraced founder of money laundering, wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to defraud the US, and campaign finance regulation violations. Officials accused Bankman-Fried of having a long history of criminal activity dating back to 2019. He is also accused of making illegal political campaign contributions, using aliases.
Bankman-Fried also faces multiple civil lawsuits brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which says she orchestrated “a massive, long-term fraud, diverting billions of dollars in funds to the customer’s trading platform for his own personal benefit and to help grow his crypto empire.”
Once considered the white knight of the crypto industry, Bankman-Fried saw his empire fall at an alarming rate in November, when the FTX exchange stopped issuing withdrawals, amid speculation that it became insolvent. FTX filed for bankruptcy soon after it emerged that Bankman-Fried had raided customer funds to cover trades made by his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Two senior executives associated with FTX and its collapse have pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges and are cooperating with federal prosecutors. Co-founder Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, a former romantic partner of Bankman-Fried’s who served as Alameda’s CEO, each face 50 and 110 years in prison themselves, though their cooperation will reduce in sentences.
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