Double trouble: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces two criminal trials

Double trouble: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces two criminal trials

Criminal charges against FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried have been split, with the former CEO now facing two separate trials for his alleged mismanagement of the crypto exchange.

Bankman-Fried is facing a total of 13 charges relating to fraud, fraud conspiracy and bribery. A trial for all the charges was scheduled to begin on Oct. 2.

Five of those charges will now be split off into a second trial on March 11, 2024, according to a June 15 ruling from United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan.

The full text of Judge Kaplan’s June 15 order. Source: CourtListener

Originally the FTX founder was extradited to the U.S. in December 2022 on eight charges, with further indictments adding another five charges in February and March 2023.

The charge split comes as DOJ prosecutors requested a waiver from Bahamian authorities to try Bankman-Fried on the five additional charges they imposed after his extradition from the country.

Lawyers for the FTX co-founder attempted to dismiss those charges saying he could not be tried on charges made after the extradition.

Related: Exchanges pledged $2.5B to user protection funds amid FTX’s collapse: Report

On June 14, DOJ lawyers said they would proceed to try Bankman-Fried on the original eight charges they leveled against him citing a potentially lengthy process if the court was to wait for the approval of a motion filed by Bankman-Fried in The Bahamas.

The new trial in March will focus on the charges of bribery conspiracy, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, bank fraud conspiracy along with derivatives and securities fraud.

The other charges relate to various wire, derivates and securities fraud and conspiracy allegedly carried out at FTX and Alameda Research along with accusations of money laundering.

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