Former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried faces misdemeanor charges

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Former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried faces misdemeanor charges

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of FTX, has been charged with a series of misdemeanor crimes.

Federal prosecutors allege that he is masterminding one of the most significant financial frauds in U.S. history. Bankman-Fried, once a renowned crypto billionaire, has been accused of orchestrating a multibillion-dollar fraud. He faces charges of defrauding clients on his digital currency exchange, FTX. The charges include wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering.

On December 12th, 2022, the former CEO was arrested in Nassau, Bahamas. After being extradited to the U.S. on January 3, 2023, he pleaded not guilty to all charges. He was under house arrest in his parents' home in Palo Alto, Claifornia, but his bond was revoked in August 2023 due to alleged witness tampering. Since then, he's been incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

The case has been described by Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, as one of the biggest financial frauds in American history. Bankman-Fried's trial could last up to six weeks.

This post will be updated frequently throughout the trial.

Today, SBF's lawyers filed a lawsuit against Continental Casualty Company, an excess insurer under a directors and officers insurance policy of Paper Bird Inc. and related companies - which includes FTX. The policy explicitly states that CNA must pay defense costs incurred by the insureds, including Bankman-Fried.

Bankman-Fried alleges that CNA has refused to comply with its contractual obligation to pay his defense costs, despite multiple requests. The company is owed up to $5 million of its legal fees now that $10 million of coverage has been exhausted.

The policy itself was signed and made effective in August 2022, a few months before the FTX founder resigned and the company filed for bankruptcy.

ET Judge Lewis Kaplan asked potential jurors if there was something about the nature of Bankman-Fried's case that would make it difficult for them to be fair. At least 10 people raised their hands and were excused, said André Beganksi, Decrypt's editor-in-chief.

A juror said he had heard of Bankman-Fried from the Joe Rogan podcast.

SBF is in the courtroom, no plea deal on the table.

Jurors entered the room just after 8 a.m. Monday, a spokesman said. The prosecution said there was no plea offers extended to Bankman-Fried, which the FTX founder's lawyer confirmed.

The crowds had already gathered outside the New York courthouse on Tuesday, where jury selection will begin for Bankman-Fried's trial. Court officials told Decrypt reporter André Beganki that there would be no 'perp walk' to bring Bankman-Fried into the courthouse because he's already in custody.

Bankman-Fried's lawyers rejected a motion to allow him to be released from jail during the duration of his trial. By 9 a.m., court officials had admitted him to the courthouse.