Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty

The founder of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty in federal court in New York, reports Deutsche Welle.

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According to the newspaper, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer stated in court that his client did not plead guilty to any of the eight charges. Judge Lewis Kaplan set an opening date for the case on the merits for October 2.

Bankman-Fried acknowledged that mistakes were made in FTX, but insists that he does not consider himself guilty. If found guilty, he faces up to 115 years in prison.

The 30-year-old FTX founder faces eight criminal charges, including fraud and conspiracy to launder money. He is accused of diverting FTX customer deposits without their consent to his hedge fund, Alameda Research, which funded his luxury real estate purchases and large political donations.

Two of his former employees have already pleaded guilty to fraud charges. Carolyn Allison, who ran Alameda, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang are cooperating with prosecutors and may testify at the trial in hopes of a reduced sentence.

As a reminder, FTX announced on Twitter in early November that it had filed for bankruptcy and its head, Bankman-Fried, had resigned. The case has achieved the status of one of the largest in U.S. history. At least a million customers lost access to their funds. Later, the founder of the crypto exchange was arrested in the Bahamas, where he agreed to be extradited to the United States.

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