Prosecutors cite “strong public interest” in resolving major case against disgraced cryptocurrency exchange founder
US prosecutors have chosen not to pursue the second trial of cryptocurrency exchange FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who has already been convicted of fraud and money laundering, and instead move forward with sentencing.
Prosecutors said in a letter submitted to a New York court on Friday that pursuing a second trial for the disgraced businessman would only delay the case against him, which is already strong enough.
“Given this practical reality and the strong public interest in an expeditious resolution of this matter, the government intends to proceed with sentencing on the charges of which the defendant was convicted at trial,” prosecutors said in the letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan, who sentenced the defendant. He presided over Bankman Freed's first criminal trial last year.
In November, a jury found Bankman-Fried guilty of seven counts of fraud, embezzlement and criminal conspiracy, among other charges.
The 31-year-old is accused of using billions of dollars in customer deposits at FTX to cover losses at his hedge fund, pay off loans and purchase luxury real estate, among other major personal expenses.
At trial, he admitted to making “mistakes” that led to people being hurt, but pleaded not guilty to the charges because he claimed he never intended to steal.
Billions of dollars were lost after the Bankman Fried crimes came to light in 2022, which also contributed to a deepening downturn in the cryptocurrency market that began earlier that year.
Federal prosecutors previously described the case as “one of the largest financial frauds in American history.”
Bankman-Fried is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28, where he could face up to 110 years in prison.
Prosecutors said much of the evidence that could be presented in a second trial had already been presented in the first trial, and that a second trial would not affect how much time he could serve in prison.
They also said that victims would not benefit from confiscation or restitution orders if sentencing was delayed.
Bankman-Fried is expected to file an appeal against his conviction.
It was previously extradited from the Bahamas, where its companies are based.
Since then, disputes have erupted between the United States and the Bahamas over which of the country's prosecutors has jurisdiction and the right to prosecute. US prosecutors wrote on Friday that the US government “does not have a timeline for when The Bahamas may comply with its request.”
Bankman Freed, an MIT graduate, has been in jail since August, and his bail was revoked after a judge concluded that he had likely tampered with potential trial witnesses.
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