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FTX founder Bankman Fried pleads not guilty

As expected, the founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX pleaded not guilty in a first hearing in a US court yesterday. But US authorities accuse Sam Bankman Fried of “fraud of epic proportions” and money laundering. He also violated party donations laws with his millions of dollars in donations to the candidacy of US President Joe Biden and his Democrats.

Reuters/David de Delgado

The actual process is likely to begin in September or October. If convicted, the 30-year-old faces up to 115 years in prison. Regardless, FTX clients want a class action lawsuit. On bail of $250 million, Bankman-Fried will not be in custody for the time being, but will be under arrest at his parents’ home.

Two senior FTX executives pleaded guilty. After rumors of wrongdoing and a failed bailout by arch-rival Binance, investors withdrew money from FTX on a massive scale in November 2022. The cryptocurrency exchange then filed for bankruptcy protection. According to people familiar with the matter, Bankman-Fried secretly transferred $10 billion in FTX client funds to Alameda. Bankman Fried admits his wrongdoings, but dismisses allegations of criminal action.

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