Business News Report
January 02, 2024

US Prosecutors Drop Additional Fraud Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried

In Brief

US prosecutors will drop remaining fraud charges against SBF, including foreign bribery, bank fraud and unlawful political donations.

US Prosecutors Drop Additional Charges Against Bankman-Fried

United States prosecutors, led by Damian Williams — US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, decided not to pursue remaining charges against Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), including foreign bribery and bank fraud, among others. Additionally, a charge related to unlawful political donations, which was separated from the original indictment due to an extradition dispute with the Bahamas, will also not be pursued.

In a letter outlining the decision, prosecutors emphasized that evidence related to several charges had been previously introduced during Bankman-Fried’s initial trial. In that trial, he was convicted on all seven counts of fraud and conspiracy connected to his management of FTX and its affiliated trading company, Alameda Research.

The prosecutors clarified that this evidence could be taken into account during the sentencing phase, despite the absence of an opportunity for the jury to deliberate on it.

“Proceeding with sentencing in March 2024 without the delay that would be caused by a second trial would advance the public’s interest in a timely and just resolution of the case” the prosecutors stated.

The scheduled date for Bankman-Fried’s sentencing is set for March 28, 2024.

Prosecutor’s Decision Leaves Controversies in the Dark

Due to the prosecutor’s decision, certain information may never come to light, such as the specific involvement of Thai sex workers in Alameda’s strategy to unfreeze its Chinese accounts—an incident that ultimately led to Alameda paying a bribe to Chinese government officials, as testified by the star witness and former Alameda chief executive officer, Caroline Ellison.

However, the crypto community appears predominantly concerned with a specific dropped charge: the accusation of unlawful political donations. This is particularly noteworthy considering Bankman-Fried’s extensively reported contributions to numerous Democratic and Republican politicians. Prosecutors asserted that Bankman-Fried utilized customer funds for $100 million in political donations. This decision highlights the growing “normalization” of corruption.

Bankman-Fried Convicted on Seven Fraud Charges

On November 3 in 2023, Bankman-Fried was convicted of all seven fraud charges by a jury in his criminal trial following four hours of deliberation. The charges include two counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of securities fraud, one count of commodities fraud conspiracy, and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

Bankman-Fried was accused of misappropriating $8 billion from users of his now-closed cryptocurrency platform, FTX. Prosecutors contended that Bankman-Fried redirected funds from FTX to his cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund, Alameda Research, despite publicly assuring the safety of customer funds.

The redirected funds were purportedly utilized for executive loans, speculative ventures, and substantial political contributions intended to influence favorable cryptocurrency legislation. 

Last month, Bankman-Fried’s plea for a postponement of four to six weeks for his sentencing hearing was denied. It was specified that Bankman-Fried had already been granted one extension for submitting sentencing documents.

Bankman-Fried’s conviction highlights a crucial moment in his legal battle, marking another chapter in the unfolding narrative of FTX’s downfall.

Disclaimer

In line with the Trust Project guidelines, please note that the information provided on this page is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice. It is important to only invest what you can afford to lose and to seek independent financial advice if you have any doubts. For further information, we suggest referring to the terms and conditions as well as the help and support pages provided by the issuer or advertiser. MetaversePost is committed to accurate, unbiased reporting, but market conditions are subject to change without notice.

About The Author

Alisa, a dedicated journalist at the MPost, specializes in cryptocurrency, zero-knowledge proofs, investments, and the expansive realm of Web3. With a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, she delivers comprehensive coverage to inform and engage readers in the ever-evolving landscape of digital finance.

More articles
Alisa Davidson
Alisa Davidson

Alisa, a dedicated journalist at the MPost, specializes in cryptocurrency, zero-knowledge proofs, investments, and the expansive realm of Web3. With a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, she delivers comprehensive coverage to inform and engage readers in the ever-evolving landscape of digital finance.

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