FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to fraud charges in US federal court amid huge media scrum

3 January 2023, 20:01

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has appeared in court accused of defrauding investors of billions of dollars.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has appeared in court accused of defrauding investors of billions of dollars. Picture: Alamy / Gettyc

By Danielle DeWolfe

FTX crypto boss Sam Bankman-Fried fought through crowds outside court on Tuesday morning ahead of his first US court appearance following his arrest.

Appearing in federal court in Manhattan, the cryptocurrency exchange founder stands accused of defrauding investors of billions of dollars.

Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in The Bahamas in November, shortly after the collapse of his crypto exchange FTX.

The former crypto boss is currently under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California.

Mr Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to all charges as part of his first US court appearance.

It's a notable fall from grace for the former billionaire, who had been considered one of the wealthiest men in the world only twelve months earlier.

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Celebrity Sightings In New York City - January 03, 2023. Picture: Getty

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Accused of stealing investor funds from his crypto currency FTX in order to cover outstanding loans taken out by its sister hedge funds.

He also stands accused of investing in various other ventures and donating to political campaigns.

If found guilty, the charges could see him face up to 115 years in prison.

After initially considering fighting extradition back to the US, the founder returned to the states last month, where a judge set his bond at $250m.

Mr Bankman-Fried’s parents, both of whom are law professors teaching at Stanford University, co-signed his bond and ensured his detention under house arrest.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried speaking remotely at Hong Kong FinTech Week on October 31, 2022. 31OCT22 SCMP/ Matt Haldane
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried speaking remotely at Hong Kong FinTech Week on October 31, 2022. 31OCT22 SCMP/ Matt Haldane. Picture: South China Morning Post / Alamy Stock Photo

It follows the conviction or two of Mr Bankman-Fried’s close associates Gary Wang, co-founder of FTX, and Caroline Ellison, CEO of FTX’s sister hedge fund Alameda Research.

Both have plead guilty to charges fraud, with Ellison openly apologising for her role in the multi-billion dollar deception.

She also admitted to the court she had agreed not to expose the true nature of the relationship between FTX and sister hedge fund Alameda.

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