A US federal judge is reportedly considering a proposal to split criminal charges against former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Friedin two separate trials following a request by prosecutors.
According to a June 15 Wall Street Journal story, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York was considering whether to dismiss or separate the charges in the Bankman-Fried criminal case after “imaginative” argument from the former FTX CEO’s legal team. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers filed a motion to have charges not included in the Bahamas extradition papers to the United States in 2022.
The original complaint against Bankman-Fried included 8 criminal charges, but a superseding indictment in February and a subsequent indictment added in March brought the total to 13. Should the judge separate the trials, Bankman-Fried could face a trial focused on additional charges of allegedly bribing a Chinese government official and other matters related to fraud at FTX and Alameda Research.
US Justice Department prosecutors said they were prepared to try Bankman-Fried on the original October indictment, with prosecution of the remaining 5 counts to be decided by Judge Kaplan. The Wall Street Journal reported that the judge suggested he was unlikely to dismiss any criminal charges out of hand before trial.
Following the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November 2022 and allegations of misuse of funds from its clients, Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas to the US as part of a case brought by the Department of Justice. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and, as part of his bail conditions, he has largely confined himself to his parents’ home in California.
Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang have pleaded guilty to charges related to alleged financial entanglements between FTX and Alameda. The FTX bankruptcy case has also been filed in a Delaware court.
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