Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorneys said Wednesday that a delay of his October 2 criminal trial may be necessary. Attorneys for SBF argued that additional time may be required to thoroughly review the evidence and prepare a defense for the upcoming trial.
SBF Lawyers Awaiting ‘Substantial Portion’ Of Evidence
Bankman-Fried’s attorneys wrote to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on March 8 that they weren’t formally requesting a date change at the moment, but that it might be necessary given that they were still waiting for a “substantial portion” of evidence to be turned over to them and that additional charges had been filed against the FTX founder in late February.
After Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange failed in November and he was arrested in December, his lawyers observed that prosecutors filed further fraud and conspiracy accusations late last month, bringing the total number of counts to 12.
One of Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, Christian Everdell, wrote in the letter:
“Depending on the volume of the additional discovery and the timing of the productions, it may be necessary to request an adjournment of the trial, currently scheduled to begin on October 2, 2023.”
The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have both filed civil lawsuits against the FTX founder for fraud; the trials in these cases have been postponed until after the criminal trial of SBF.
Image: Opsec Solutions
SBF Charges Bumped
In a subsequent indictment issued in New York federal court in February, Bankman-Fried was slammed with four more criminal allegations, including commodities fraud and making illicit political contributions.
The original indictment against Bankman-Fried only included eight counts; the new 12-count indictment adds fresh information about hundreds of dollars in illegal political donations that SBF allegedly directed.
The new charging document provides more context for the allegations of fraud against Bankman-Fried in connection with his failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX and linked hedge fund Alameda Research in late 2022.
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According to reports, SBF faces up to 40 years in prison if he is found guilty of “multiple schemes to defraud” in this case.
After his initial arrest in late 2022, Bankman-Fried has pled not guilty and is out on a $250 million bail.
Further legal pressure has been placed on SBF when two of his close colleagues – FTX co-founder Gary Wang and ex-Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison – pleaded guilty in December to several counts of fraud and other offenses.
Wang and Ellison are helping the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office prosecute Bankman-Fried.
-Featured image from The Chainsaw