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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to Criminal Charges, Bond Signees’ Names Remain Sealed 

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to Criminal Charges, Bond Signees' Names Remain Sealed 

On Jan. 3, 2023, the former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) pleaded not guilty to eight criminal charges that involve two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy. In addition to the not guilty plea, SBF’s judge Lewis Kaplan granted the defendant’s request to keep the names of his $250 million bond signees redacted.

Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to Criminal Charges and Fights to Keep Bond Signees Anonymous in Court

Disgraced FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) said he’s not guilty of the eight charges against him when he attended his court hearing in front of judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday. When SBF’s entourage arrived outside the Manhatten courthouse, his SUV was swarmed by the press and reports say the crowd was so large “Bankman-Fried’s mother was unable to exit the vehicle.” SBF’s bodyguard and security team then escorted the former FTX executive into the courthouse.

Alongside pleading not guilty to the charges against him, SBF’s attorneys filed a motion in order to keep the names of the two signees who signed SBF’s $250 million bond sealed. The attorneys insisted that SBF’s parents were already dealing with risks from their son’s case and the legal team said it wants to make sure the bail bond’s guarantors don’t suffer the same fate. SBF’s bond was interesting because the former FTX executive didn’t have to pay any money at all. His parents had to secure the bond with their house in Palo Alto and four people co-signed the bond.

The deal is if SBF does not appear in court or if he breaks his bail conditions, his parent’s Palo Alto home could be on the hook, and the signees could be forced to cover the rest of the bond. Judge Lewis Kaplan approved the motion to keep the two signees names sealed even though there were filings opposing the sealing. Matthew Russell Lee from the Inner City Press said that usually “co-signers’ names and info, including income, are routinely made public in the SDNY Magistrates Court, for less privileged defendants.”

Russell Lee detailed that the Inner City Press filed an opposition to the sealing and he also mentioned that judge Kaplan set a new bail condition for the defendant. SBF is now not allowed to access any funds associated with FTX or Alameda Research while on house arrest. “[U.S. prosecutors] didn’t ask for no Internet condition, as they ask for in some other cases,” Russell Lee said. After SBF’s not guilty plea, judge Kaplan scheduled the trial to tentatively begin on Oct. 2, 2023.

What do you think about SBF pleading not guilty on Tuesday and the judge allowing the defendants to keep the bond signees’ names sealed? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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