Founder of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, will not face a second trial, as US prosecutors have decided not to pursue further charges against him. Bankman-Fried was convicted last month on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy, accused of stealing $8 billion from FTX customers. However, prosecutors have cited the “strong public interest” in resolving the case promptly as the reason for not seeking a new trial.
Bankman-Fried’s scheduled sentencing is set for March 28, 2024, and is expected to include orders of forfeiture and restitution for the victims. If convicted, he could face decades in prison, according to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have opted not to comment on the prosecutors’ decision.
Although Bankman-Fried will not face a second trial, he still faces six additional charges, including campaign finance violations and conspiracy to commit bribery. These charges were severed from the initial trial, and the timetable for their proceedings remains uncertain. The Bahamas, where FTX was based, has yet to grant consent for a trial.
Bankman-Fried’s conviction comes almost a year after FTX filed for bankruptcy, leading to the collapse of his personal fortune, which was once valued at $26 billion. Prosecutors argue that much of the evidence for a second trial has already been presented and that it would not affect the potential prison time under federal guidelines.
Despite his conviction, Bankman-Fried is expected to appeal. During the trial, he testified that he made mistakes while running FTX but denied stealing customer funds. He also claimed to be unaware of the financial precariousness of FTX until shortly before its collapse. Bankman-Fried has been in jail since August after his bail was revoked on suspicion of tampering with trial witnesses.
As the case against Sam Bankman-Fried continues to develop, it remains a significant story within the cryptocurrency community and beyond. The outcome of his sentencing and the potential implications for the cryptocurrency industry will be closely watched.