SBF Pleads Not Guilty to Bribing Chinese Officials, Other Recent Charges
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SBF Pleads Not Guilty to Bribing Chinese Officials, Other Recent Charges

This Thursday, Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to the superseding indictment filed against him earlier this week.
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On Thursday, March 30th, Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to the additional charges filed against him since the beginning of the year. FTX’s former CEO also plead not guilty to the initial indictment against him and is the only senior executive of the fallen cryptocurrency company to maintain his claim of innocence after US authorities pressed their charges.

SBF Pleads Not Guilty, Again

So far, there have been three rounds of indictments against FTX’s former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried. The latest of the three was unveiled earlier this week and was centered on a $40 million bribe paid to Chinese officials to unfreeze funds belonging to Alameda Research. Once unfrozen, the $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency was allegedly used to keep funding FT Group’s operations.

This Thursday, SBF went to a federal court in New York and enter a plea of “not guilty” to the new charges. Together with the allegation of bribery, these include the accusations of money laundering, making illegal political contributions, operating an unlicensed money transmitter, and bank fraud, and could potentially add more than 40 years to Bankman-Fried’s already impressive maximum possible prison sentence.

Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in December in the Bahamas about a month after FTX filed for bankruptcy and after US prosecutors unveiled their initial indictments. After a short period of uncertainty, and some time in prison in the island nation, he was extradited to the United States where he made his first court appearance in early January.

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US Prosecutors Tightening Their Case Against SBF

Days before the official bankruptcy, the scale of FTX’s wrongdoings was revealed as staggering. Unfortunately, matters have only been becoming worse since then, as investigations conducted by authorities, as well as by the company’s bankruptcy team, have unearthed ever more damning evidence. 

Parallel with these developments, Bankman-Fried’s position has been deteriorating as his close associates all agreed to plead guilty and cooperate after getting charged by US authorities. Already in December, Caroline Ellison who ran Alameda Research confirmed the allegation of billions of illegal loans made to other executives by her part of the FTX Group. More recently, Nishad Singh, the company’s chief executive, confirmed the existence of a “back door” enabling the firm to transfer funds without the knowledge of its users.

On Wednesday, SBF agreed to new, more restrictive terms for his bail after a string of allegations that he was attempting to influence witnesses and bolster his defense in other shady ways. FTX’s former CEO is expected to stand trial in October and is facing, together with the criminal charges, civil complaints filed by the SEC and the CFTC.

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Do you think we will see more superseding indictments filed against SBF in the coming months? Let us know in the comments below.