The long-awaited trial of Sam Bankman-Fried begins today. With the former FTX CEO facing over 100 years in prison, we discuss what the public can expect. Indeed, less than a year ago, SBF was in the Bahamas, leading one of the most prominent crypto exchanges in the industry. Now, he will be tried for one of the largest financial crimes in US history.
Bankman-Fired previously pleaded not guilty to seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. Moreover, the co-founder of FTX has consistently stated his lack of wrongdoing in the exchange’s collapse. Yet he faces an uphill battle to prove his own innocence in a case that could see him live the rest of his life behind bars.
Bankman-Fried Trial Finally Set to Start Today
The last year has seen the digital asset industry observe its greatest controversy. Specifically, the downfall of FTX saw the public uncover a massive fraud scheme. Now, the man who was vital to its operations is set to face a trial that will decide his fate.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s long-awaited trial is officially set to start today. There, he is set to face seven counts of wire and securities fraud. Subsequently, these charges are connected to the downfall of FTX. The company’s bankruptcy saw customers lose billions. Moreover, those billions were said to be missed by FTX and its sister platform, Alameda Research.
The charges are all connected to Bankman-Fried’s defrauding of investors. Additionally, SBF would have faced even more charges prior to June. There, prosecutors decided to eliminate five charges that occurred after his extradition to the United States. The trial for those crimes will take place at a later date.
Since his apprehension, Bankman-Fried has assured the public that he did nothing wrong. Specifically, he excused the activity of the exchange as a business owner completely out of his depth. Subsequently, ensure that any fraud that took place did not take place willingly. Yet, the key part of the proceedings will be the potential sentence and how long the trial could take place.
Trial Length and Potential Outcomes
The trial is officially expected to last up to six weeks, according to a CNN report. Moreover, the jury selection for the trial will begin today as the proceedings kick off. Additionally, Bankman-Fried is set to remain at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He has been there since August, on the order of Judge Lewis Kaplan.
If Bankman-Fired is convicted, he is set to serve well over 110 years in prison. Moreover, there are some who believe that is likely. Specifically, former US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) official John Reed Stark noted his belief in its possibility.
Posting to X, Stark noted three reasons why Bankman-Fried could face a conviction. First, he stated that the prosecution is set to call on a “broad array of senior corporate insiders, all of whom have plead guilty and are cooperating fully in order to reduce their own criminal sentence. Among them are Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang.
Additionally, Stark noted access to FTX’s dealings as a primary reason for a potential conviction. Specifically, he pointed to FTX CEO John Ray II’s testimony before Congress. There, he said he had never “seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.”
Finally, Stark stated his belief that Bankman-Fried could get himself into trouble. Specifically, because he has consistently spoken out amid the proceedings. Subsequently, Stark raises the possibility that his own words—from a bevy of interviews and appearances done since the collapse—will be used against him.