Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed in November with billions of dollars in investor funds missing, pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud related to the failure of his company in a hearing before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday. 

See related article: Bahamas regulator denies FTX CEO’s claims over seized assets

Fast facts

  • Judge Lewis Kaplan set Bankman-Fried’s first trial date for Oct. 2, 2023, according to reporting from Reuters. 
  • Bankman-Fried, 30, last appeared before the court on Dec. 22 and was granted US$250 million bail and released to his parent’s home in California. 
  • The crypto figurehead faces eight criminal counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and campaign finance violations, for which he could spend decades in prison if convicted.
  • Earlier Tuesday morning, Bankman-Fried’s team requested the courts not to release the identities of two of the four parties who agreed to sign his bail bond. His parents are the two other on-record co-signers and lawyers said they had received threats of harm.  
  • Prosecutors did not contest this motion, with Judge Kaplan saying a final decision would be made on this matter in the next day or two, according to Reuters. 
  • Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas on Dec. 12 at the request of U.S. authorities, who accuse him of orchestrating the transfer of billions in FTX customer assets to his brokerage and hedge fund, Alameda Research.
  • Bankman-Fried’s former colleagues, ex-Alameda head Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang, have already pleaded guilty to charges related to their roles in the collapse of FTX.

See related article: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried allegedly cashes out US$684,000, on-chain data show