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FTX Founder May Plead ‘Not Guilty’ as Bahamas is Accused of Seizing $300M

2 mins
Updated by Paolo Besabella
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In Brief

  • Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried will reportedly pled not guilty.
  • The current management of the exchange argues that the Bahamian government seized $300 million worth of assets and not $3.5 billion.
  • According to the new FTX managment, the seized assets are now worth around $167 million.
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Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is expected to plead not guilty to the charges against him, Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the report, the FTX founder is not planning to go down easy despite the evidence against him. He is expected to enter the not-guilty plea on January 3. SBF’s defense contrasts with other top executives of the bankrupt exchange who had already pleaded guilty. The two executives include Caroline Ellison of Alameda Research, and the CTO of FTX, Gary Wang.

SBF Maintains Innocence

The former FTX CEO has maintained his innocence since the exchange unraveled in November. While many describe his actions as clear fraudulent activities, SBF insisted that they were mistakes that got out of hand.

Mr. Bankman-Fried faces an eight-count charge that includes wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and conspiracy to commit campaign finance violations. If guilty, SBF faces up to 100 years in prison.

SBF’s not-guilty plea will likely make the case a protracted one. But it will also provide more information about the workings of the exchange and the events that led to its eventual collapse.

FTX Accuses Bahamian Authorities of Illegal Asset Seizure

The current management of the bankrupt exchange said the Bahamas Securities Commission (SCB) seized $300 million without approval, according to a December 30 press statement.

According to the press statement, the SCB ordered Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang to transfer about $296 million in digital assets to a Fireblocks wallet. The transferred cryptocurrencies included 195 million FTT tokens, 1,938 ETH, and several other digital assets with little or no value. As of December 30, the assets’ value has dropped to $167 million.

In addition to their claims, the FTX management said it has substantial evidence regarding the transfer, adding that the disgraced founders nor the SCB have any right over the mentioned assets. 

Meanwhile, the Bahamian authorities revealed that it seized $3.5 billion worth of assets from FTX on November 12. According to the new FTX management, the financial regulator did not disclose the type of crypto assets seized, nor did they reveal their valuation method. Hence, the group urges the SCB to clear the confusion surrounding the seized assets.

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Oluwapelumi Adejumo
Oluwapelumi believes Bitcoin and blockchain technology have the potential to change the world for the better. He is an avid reader and began writing about crypto in 2020.