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US Prosecutors to Reduce Criminal Charges on FTX Founder SBF in October Trial

The DoJ prosecutors have eliminated five charges relating to fraud, conspiracy, and bribery initially levied against the disgraced FTX founder.

In a court filing on Wednesday, June 14, prosecutors with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) told the district judge that they would be proceeding with eight charges in the trial levied against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried back in December 2022.

The DoJ lawyers also cited a motion filed by SBF in the Bahamas wherein he argued that the 13 charges that he faced were not in the original indictment, which was the premise for his extradition from the country. The US federal prosecutors announced their decision to temporarily withhold five charges of foreign bribery, bank fraud, and conspiracy against Sam Bankman-Fried, the indicted founder of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Since this could be a lengthy process, the prosecutor wrote that they’re “prepared to proceed to trial as scheduled on the counts contained in the original indictment. It now appears that litigation of that motion will take some time and may not be resolved until near or even after the trial date”.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the Bahamas noted that the disgraced FTX founder deserves an opportunity to formally challenge all the new charges before the country can agree to them.

In a recent development, prosecutors in Manhattan stated that they would withdraw the five charges against the former billionaire if the Caribbean nation does not cooperate. If found guilty in the trial scheduled for October 2, he could face a lengthy prison sentence.

The Fall of FTX and SBF

Following the extradition of Sam Bankman-Fried last year, the DoJ had unsealed an additional of four charges earlier this year in February relating to fraud and conspiracy. Later, in March, they unsealed additional charges related to the bribery to Chinese officials.

FTX owes more than $3 billion to its creditors, according to estimates. Prosecutors claim that Bankman-Fried mixed customer funds together and provided false information to investors about how FTX managed risks, resulting in financial losses for investors and customers.

Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, a co-founder of FTX, have admitted guilt to charges of fraud related to the exchange’s downfall. However, Bankman-Fried argues that it was not fraud but rather management errors that led to the collapse.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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