United States prosecutors have decided not to pursue a second trial against Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX. This decision comes after evaluating the outcomes and evidence presented in the first trial.
Resolution Sought for Trial
Reported by Reuters on December 29, the decision reflects a desire among various stakeholders to expedite the resolution of the case. The primary concern is addressing the public interest, especially considering the numerous victims awaiting compensation following FTX’s collapse in November 2022.
Lack of New Evidence for Second Trial
Prosecutors noted that a second trial would likely not yield any new evidence, as most of it was already presented during the initial trial. They cited the United States Sentencing Guidelines, explaining that all relevant conduct from the first trial could be considered during sentencing for the counts Bankman-Fried was found guilty of.
Additional Evidence and Sentencing Considerations
The first trial in October revealed evidence of conspiracy to bribe Chinese officials and false statements to a United States bank as part of a fraudulent scheme. Prosecutors highlighted that this evidence could also be considered during Bankman-Fried’s sentencing.
Outcome of the First Trial
On November 3, Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all seven fraud charges, including wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, commodities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. The jury reached this verdict after four hours of deliberations.
Denial of Sentencing Hearing Adjournment
Bankman-Fried’s request for a four to six-week adjournment on his sentencing hearing was denied by Judge Lewis Kaplan. The judge pointed out that the defense had previously agreed to the sentencing date and had already been granted one extension for filing sentencing submissions.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s sentencing is scheduled for March 28, 2024. The decision to forego a second trial is seen as a step towards concluding the legal proceedings surrounding the high-profile case of the former FTX CEO.