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Crypto-crook Sam Bankman-Fried spared a second trial

US prosecutors do not plan to proceed with a second trial of convicted and imprisoned crypto-villain Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), according to a Southern District of New York court letter filed on December 29.

The prosecutors reasoned that much of the evidence that would be submitted had already been considered in his October trial – an event which yielded a guilty verdict after just four hours of jury deliberation.

Furthermore, the letter [PDF] cites “strong public interest in a prompt resolution” as a reason for not pursuing additional legal action.

Although forgoing an additional trial means not holding SBF accountable for conspiracy to make unlawful campaign contributions, additional court dates would most certainly delay a scheduled March 2024 sentencing, as it would require negotiating with The Bahamas regarding terms of extradition.

SBF was extradited to the US from The Bahamas, where his crypto exchange FTX was headquartered, in December 2022. While the island nation agreed to extradition on seven out of eight charges, local authorities did not consent to extradition on a charge of conspiracy to make unlawful campaign contributions. US courts were therefore unable to pursue the eighth charge.

SBF’s first trial yielded seven guilty verdicts. Those included two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Together they carry a combined maximum sentence of 110 years.

However, even though the campaign finance charge was not pursued, it could be considered relevant in sentencing matters, wrote the attorneys in their filing.

The prosecutors’ letter detailed that the sentencing judgment will also “likely include orders of forfeiture and restitution for the victims of the defendant’s crimes.”

SBF’s other enterprise, crypto trading firm Alameda Research, allegedly used FTX customer deposits as a slush fund with a line of credit of up to $65 billion dollars.

According to United States vs Bankman-Fried, stakeholders were defrauded of around $10 billion when, as it was testified, those funds were used to bail out Alameda Research.

While SBF at one point was a media darling who graced the cover of Forbes magazine and was hailed as an altruist, a different picture emerged upon the fall of his various schemes.

In addition to his allegedly decadent lifestyle lived at his victims’ expense, he is also accused of bribing Chinese officials with $40 million worth of cryptocurrency in exchange for unfreezing trading accounts, and witness tampering.

Meanwhile his carefully crafted public image included donations both to political and charity causes which, unbeknownst to the public, were made with other people’s money. Over $100 million in stolen FTX funds was allegedly used as political campaign contributions in the 2022 US midterm elections. ®