Sam Bankman-Fried continues his circus and dares to plead not guilty!

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to a series of financial crimes in New York federal court on Tuesday as part of his prosecution.

Gathered in a wood-paneled courtroom overlooking New York’s hazy skyline, Bankman-Fried sat flanked by her legal team on either side. He appeared for his arraignment clean-shaven, wearing a navy suit and maroon dress shoes. It was a radical departure from the T-shirt and shorts he is known to wear.

Sam Bankman-Fried faces eight criminal charges, including fraud and money laundering. He is also charged with violating the Campaign Finances Act for allegedly making tens of millions of dollars worth of illegal campaign contributions with embezzled client funds.

His court appearance follows the unexpected collapse of FTX that rocked the cryptocurrency in November. A crash in the exchange’s FTT token shook consumer confidence in FTX and led to a stock market crash. The flurry of client withdrawals created a liquidity crunch that forced the company to admit it did not have a one-to-one reserve of client assets, ultimately prompting the exchange to disable withdrawals before filing the balance sheet.

SBF kept his head down and gaze forward until the proceedings began, occasionally glancing to the side. His shoulders slumped forward as he sat in his chair.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York accused Bankman-Fried of embezzling client funds and misleading investors and lenders. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all eight charges against him. His trial date is set for October 2 this year.

Sam Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO of FTX when the company filed for bankruptcy and faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in federal prison if convicted of the charges against him.

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors have gone after others connected to FTX and Alameda Research, a Bankman-Fried-owned trading firm that allegedly received billions of dollars in client funds to run its trades.

FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, have pleaded guilty to financial crimes related to FTX and are cooperating with investigations of Bankman-Fried and the defunct exchange, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. the Southern District of New York.

Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas just over two weeks ago and extradited to the United States after spending several days at the Fox Hill Correctional Center in Nassau, a facility known for its harsh conditions.

After returning to the United States, Bankman-Fried was released on a $250 million bond, with his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California posted as collateral, instead of where he is currently under house arrest.

Recently, Bankman-Fried returned to Twitter for the first time since his arrest. The FTX founder broke his silence on Friday to deny involvement in the transfer of Alameda-related funds, which took place days after his release.

Less than a week ago, Bankman-Fried’s trial was reassigned from Judge Ronnie Abrams to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. Ms. Abrams recused herself from overseeing the Bankman-Fried case because of her husband’s work at a law firm as a partner advising FTX in 2021.

Lawyers Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell were in court on Tuesday representing Bankman-Fried. Mark Cohen was once part of the legal team representing convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.

Federal prosecutors said they expect to produce thousands of documents from FTX’s debtors, investors and individual employees, noting that the discovery process is still ongoing and will unfold over time.

For example, federal prosecutors said they were recently able to access an Amazon Web Services database containing customer transaction histories, but were unable to obtain all the details.

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