- US prosecutors drop second trial against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
- Bankman-Fried faces sentencing in March, potential 110-year prison term.
- FTX case likened to Madoff’s; Bankman-Fried convicted of embezzlement and fraud.
In a surprising development, US prosecutors have chosen not to pursue a second trial against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the beleaguered crypto exchange FTX. Bankman-Fried, previously convicted on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy linked to FTX’s collapse in November, had been scheduled for a second trial in March.
Prosecution’s decision to forgo second trial
The second trial, encompassing five additional charges separated from the initial proceedings, will not proceed as prosecutors state that most of the pertinent evidence had already been presented during the first trial. Instead, the focus shifts to Bankman-Fried’s sentencing, which is set for March 2024 and could potentially result in a maximum prison sentence of 110 years.
Sentencing and compensation
US Attorney Damian Williams anticipates that the sentencing process will entail orders for forfeiture and restitution to provide compensation for the victims of Bankman-Fried’s crimes. However, Bankman-Fried’s spokesperson has refrained from commenting on the matter.
Bankman-Fried’s extradition from the Bahamas adds a layer of complexity to the legal proceedings. The Bahamas has yet to grant consent for a trial on the remaining charges, and prosecutors do not possess a timeline for the country’s response to their request.
FTX case: A high-profile white-collar crime
The FTX case has garnered widespread attention and is regarded as one of the most prominent white-collar crime cases in recent memory, drawing parallels to Bernie Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme in 2009.
Bankman-Fried was found guilty of embezzling billions of dollars from customer accounts at FTX during his trial, which spanned 15 days of testimony and approximately four-and-a-half hours of juror deliberations. In addition to embezzlement, he was convicted of defrauding lenders associated with FTX’s sister company, the hedge fund Alameda Research, which held customer funds in a bank account. Furthermore, Bankman-Fried faced charges related to defrauding FTX investors and a money laundering offense.