Friday, December 8, 2023

NEW YORK — Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges tied to the collapse of his crypto empire, FTX, last year during a court appearance Tuesday.

The FTX founder was arraigned in the Southern District of New York courthouse after a new indictment accused him of using customer funds for everything from buying personal real estate to political donations. The charges are from the original indictment filed last December, but fold a campaign finance charge into other allegations after prosecutors said they couldn’t explicitly bring the charge due to treaty obligations with the Bahamas.

Tuesday’s arraignment comes amid requests from the defense team to let Bankman-Fried meet with his attorneys and internet-enabled laptops at the U.S. Attorney’s office every weekday. Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing the case, ruled Monday that Bankman-Fried could meet with his attorneys until 3:00 p.m. EDT today at the office, but has not yet weighed in on the broader request.

Read more: Sam Bankman-Fried Due Back in Court as He Asks for Daily Releases

Prosecutors have, for their part, asked the court to order Bankman-Fried’s defense team to share more information about his proposed “advice-of-counsel” defense, including what he is claiming counsel advised. The judge set a Wednesday deadline for the defense to share more information.

Bankman-Fried’s trial is currently set to kick off in early October. Prosecutors and defense attorneys filed proposed jury instructions late Monday, detailing how they believe the judge should explain the charges and allegations to jurors.

Read more: Sam Bankman-Fried Is Now in Jail

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