Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted bribery & campaign finance violations

FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty Thursday to counts of attempted bribery and campaign finance crimes revealed in two recent supplemental indictments.

Authorities presented the bribery indictment on Tuesday, stating that Bankman-Fried attempted to pay at least one Chinese government official with over $40 million in cryptocurrency to unlock funds in accounts linked to Alameda Research, another of his companies.


FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

The new indictment follows a superseding indictment issued last month, adding bank fraud counts and outlining campaign funding claims. Bankman-Fried was detained in the Bahamas last year and extradited to the United States, where he was released on bond. He is scheduled to stand trial this fall.

Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, told the court that while the prisoner had pled not guilty, he refused to acknowledge the more recent allegations because they were brought after his extradition from the Bahamas. “My client refuses to acknowledge that he can be tried,” Cohen added.

The plea was initially reported by Reuters, following prior reports that Bankman-Fried was going to plead not guilty to the allegations. At Thursday’s hearing, federal prosecutors also discussed their progress in evaluating the contents of seven electronic devices manufactured by Bankman-Fried. Prosecutors informed the judge that the process was taking longer than planned due to the devices’ size and the data volume.

Over 6 million pages of papers have been generated in the lawsuit thus far. One device, Laptop B, represents a stumbling block in Bankman-defense.

“We do have a concern about Laptop B,” said Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer. “That relates to a cooperating witness who will be an important witness on trial.”

The next status meeting is scheduled for June 15 at 3:30 p.m. EST.

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