Lawyers representing FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried have said the criminal trial of the former cryptocurrency exchange executive may need to be delayed to give him more time to prepare his defense..
In a letter sent on March 8 to United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said they were not formally requesting a date change yet, but that it might be necessary as they are still waiting for a “substantial portion” of the evidence to be turned over to them and further charges were filed in late February. the founder of FTX.
The criminal trial is scheduled to begin on October 2 and will focus on fraud charges brought by the Department of Justice..
According to the letter, DOJ prosecutors have in their possession evidence of the devices belonging to Caroline Ellison, former CEO of FTX’s sister trading company Alameda Research, and Zixiao “Gary” Wang, co-founder of FTX.
Both Ellison and Wang have pleaded guilty to fraud charges and are cooperating with the DOJ..
Bankman-Fried’s attorneys said they are also awaiting the contents of “computers belonging to two other former FTX/Alameda employees.”. They anticipate that the production of evidence from the devices “will be voluminous and critically important to the defense.”
The letter also referenced the superseded indictment against Bankman-Fried, unsealed on February 22, which increased the number of charges from eight to 12.; the new charges are related to conspiracy and fraud.
Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to the original eight charges against him in December.
One of Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, Christian Everdell, wrote in the letter:
“Depending on the volume of further discovery and the timing of the productions, it may be necessary to request a postponement of the trial, currently scheduled to begin on October 2, 2023.”
“While we are not making such a request at this time, we wanted to bring this issue to the attention of the Court now,” Everdell added..
Bankman-Fried is currently out on $250 million bail. He has been under house arrest in Palo Alto, California, at his parents’ house, and his Internet activities are restricted.
What is Sam Bankman-Fried doing in this photo? Wrong answers only pic.twitter.com/q7UfaRt8f6
— Genevieve Roch-Decter, CFA (@GRDecter) February 24, 2023
What is Sam Bankman-Fried doing in this photo? Only wrong answers pic.twitter.com/q7UfaRt8f6
The trial schedule and bail conditions will be discussed at a hearing on Friday, March 10..
The FTX founder also faces separate civil lawsuits related to fraud from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the Securities Exchange Commission.. Both have been adjourned until after the Bankman-Fried criminal trial.
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