Prosecutors Say Sam Bankman-Fried Will Not Face a Second Trial

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US prosecutors will reportedly not pursue a second trial against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). 

According to several reports, US prosecutors do not plan to conduct a second trial against Sam Bankman-Fried. Last month, SBF was convicted of stealing funds from customers of the fallen crypto exchange FTX. 

“Strong Public Interest” in a Prompt Resolution Outweighs Benefits of a Second Trial

According to reports by Reuters, The Guardian, and CNBC, US prosecutors have decided against pursuing a second trial against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. In a letter filed in a federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors stated a “strong public interest” in the prompt resolution of their case against SBF far outweighed the benefits of running a second trial.  

Last month, Bankman-Fried was convicted on charges of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Judge Lewis Kaplan of the New York District will hand down SBF’s sentence on March 28, 2024. 

Most Evidence Already Submitted

In a note to Judge Kaplan, prosecutors said most of the evidence that would be presented in a second trial had already been placed on the record during the initial criminal trial, CNBC reports. The month-long trial against SBF in November saw testimony from almost 20 witnesses, including Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang. 

Ellison made severe claims against SBF, testifying that he planned to manipulate Bitcoin prices and keep it under the $20,000 mark. FTX co-founder Gary Wang testified to committing multi-billion-dollar fraud along with SBF. Both Wang and Ellison pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in December 2022. 

Evidence From First Trial Is Sufficient for Sentencing Hearing

Prosecutors also said the Court could consider the vast exhibits already entered into evidence during SBF’s sentencing proceedings.

The letter to Judge Kaplan noted:

“Given that practical reality, and the strong public interest in a prompt resolution of this matter, the Government intends to proceed to sentencing on the counts for which the defendant was convicted at trial.” 

FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2022. 

Additional Set of Criminal Charges

According to CNBC’s report, the second trial is set to begin in March 2024. This trial would address additional criminal charges, including conspiracy to bribe foreign officials, securities fraud, commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. 

In the letter to Judge Kaplan, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damien Williams wrote:

“…a second trial would not affect the United States Sentencing Guidelines range for the defendant, because the Court can already consider all of this conduct as relevant conduct when sentencing him for the counts that he was found guilty of at the initial trial.” 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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