Sam Bankman-Fried Granted Temporary Suspension of 5 Charges – The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and federal prosecutors in New York have decided to temporarily suspend five charges against Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the co-founder of FTX, due to legal complexities. However, these charges have been “severed” and postponed until 2024, which might result in SBF’s legal team dealing with two separate cases in the future.
Initially, SBF was indicted by the U.S. government on eight charges. Subsequently, five additional charges were added, including accusations of bank fraud and bribing a Chinese government official. However, on June 14, federal prosecutors sought to separate these five additional charges, citing the need for approval from the Bahamian judicial system to comply with the conditions of the U.S.-Bahamas extradition treaty.
As a result, the U.S. government requested a specialty waiver from the Bahamas to address this matter. While SBF is scheduled to face the original eight indictment charges in October, the remaining five charges will be addressed in a trial scheduled for March 11, 2024. This trial will cover counts four, six, nine, ten, and thirteen, which involve allegations of bank fraud, derivatives and securities fraud, bribery, and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.
As reported by Isource News—a Twitter account offering “minute-by-minute intelligence from named and unnamed sources”— said it appears that SBF is “unlikely to see any jail time after major counts dropped today.” Citing an anonymous legal analyst, Isource News stated: “The prosecution is busily dismantling their own case to a degree that’s obvious. Someone doesn’t want SBF to get any jail time.” Additionally, Isource News referenced an insider who claimed: “The rest of the charges will be plea-bargained away.”
Additionally, defense attorney Marc Cohen, who previously served as the legal representative for convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, has requested the dismissal of the five charges. “We think a dismissal of those counts would be the better outcome,” Cohen asserted. Maintaining his innocence, SBF pleaded not guilty to all charges, while three high-ranking FTX staff members have already entered guilty pleas for multiple charges.