Sam Bankman-Fried is pictured during an interview at the Bitcoin 2021 conference. (Source: Wikimedia)

Bankman-Fried Faces 13 Criminal Counts in FTX Crypto Fraud Case Set for October Trial

The architect of the alleged FTX multibillion-dollar crypto coin fraud had another legal setback recently when a federal judge denied efforts by Sam Bankman-Fried to have some of his 13 criminal charges thrown out when the case goes to trial in October.

Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York said in an opinion that the defense’s arguments “are either moot or without merit.” The 13 federal counts include conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and most recently bribing “one or more” Chinese government officials with $40 million worth of cryptocurrency to unfreeze $1 billion of digital assets.

But the prosecution in the case was willing to comment and published the reason for these charges.

Federal prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried orchestrated one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history. They say he cheated investors and stole money from customers of his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, to make lavish real estate purchases and large political campaign donations.

Legal HeavyWeights

Sam Bankman-Fried’s mother and father have stood firmly behind their son from the beginning of his crypto career until his fall from grace. Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried are both professors at Stanford University. According to his faculty biography, Bankman specializes in tax law and has written two casebooks on the subject. In addition to being a practicing lawyer, Bankman is a clinical psychologist and teaches mental health law.

Fried is a professor emerita of law at Stanford. Like her husband, she also wrote about tax policy, but her “scholarly interests lie at the intersection of law, economics, and philosophy,” her biography states. She is a three-time winner of the John Bingham Hurlbut Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Not a bad duo to have in your corner. In fact, it is probably part of the reason Bankman-Fried was released on a $250 million bail. Bankman-Fried is under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California, where his movements are heavily restricted.

At least three former FTX employees have pleaded guilty and implicated Bankman-Fried as part of an agreement with prosecutors. The 31-year-old faces up to 155 years in prison.