As revealed in court documents, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) will appear before a federal court in the Southern District Of New York (SDNY) on January 3, 2023. Reports state that the disgraced FTX founder intends to plead guilty in the fraud case.
Report Indicates FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried ‘Anticipates to Plead Guilty Next Week’, Criminal Defense Lawyer Claims Feds Have Evidence with ‘Very Few Disparities’
Previously, Judge Ronnie Abrams was overseeing the proceedings, but he withdrew his support for the case when it became apparent that he had a conflict of interest. Abrams’ husband, Greg Andres, was a consultant for FTX last year. Andres is a partner at the New York City-based international law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell. After Abrams stepped down, the judge was replaced by Justice Lewis Kaplan.
Kaplan, 78, is known as a “practical” judge who has overseen several high-profile cases featuring celebrities like the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, and Prince Andrew, Duke Of York. As reported by Reuters on December 28, 2022, SBF will be appearing before Judge Kaplan during his arraignment and is expected to plead guilty.
“Sam Bankman-Fried is anticipated to plead guilty next week to criminal charges,” wrote Reuters contributor Jonathan Stempel on Wednesday. Documents from the court indicate that SBF is scheduled for a hearing in front of Judge Kaplan in the Manhattan federal court on January 3, 2023.
The news comes in the wake of the release of unpublished testimony from Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research. Ellison is currently working with federal law enforcement and in her testimony she describes her involvement in a series of fraud acts since 2019.
SBF Flys First Class to California. But He doesn’t even fly in private, at least.🤷♀️ pic.twitter.com/QHzlftE0LN
— Genevieve Roch-Decter, CFA (@GR).Decter) December 24, 2022
In addition to this, several individuals doubt that SBF will have an easy time in court. On December 22, criminal defense lawyer Brian Wice discussed the situation with Yahoo Finance Live host Rachelle Akuffo, stating that the SDNY US Attorney Damian Williams has filed a case with “very few discrepancies”.
Wice added that the feds would not proceed unless they had confidence that they could prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. “They are confident that they can make their case beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said. As far as Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang, Wice claimed that they do not have “unbreakable plea agreements”, but he added that the two would “receive substantial decreases in their sentences if they come forward and testify truthfully.”
When it comes to SBF: Wice said that he has a “tough road ahead of him”. “The more cooperators against him, the harder it will be,” Wice told Akuffo. “And this point, Damian Williams has sent out the bat signal that if he has any information about guilt or is involved in this case, he better come in now or it’s only going to get worse,” the criminal defense lawyer added.
In addition to the SDNY v. SBF lawsuit, a class action lawsuit has been filed by FTX customers. They want the remaining digital assets linked to Alameda and FTX to be “for customers only”. The plaintiffs allege in their class action that FTX loans to Alameda Research, described by former CEO Caroline Ellison as a “remarkable company”, were “in direct violation of FTX’s own customer agreements and terms of service, as well as common law and the principles of fair dealing and honesty.” SBF was released on $250 million bail on Thursday, December 22. The former FTX CEO was not asked to plead guilty.
What do you think about SBF’s upcoming appearance before Judge Kaplan on January 3, 2023? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.