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The criminal charges against FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried have been split, with the former CEO now facing two separate trials for his alleged mismanagement of the cryptocurrency exchange.
Bankman-Fried faces a total of 13 charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and bribery. The trial on all charges was scheduled to begin on October 2.
According to a June 15 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan, five of those charges will now be split into a second trial on March 11, 2024.
The FTX founder was originally extradited to the US in December 2022 on eight charges, with five more charges added in February and March 2023.
The division of charges came after Justice Department prosecutors asked Bahamian authorities to drop the Bankman-Freed trial on five additional charges they filed after he was extradited from the country.
Lawyers for the FTX co-founder attempted to dismiss these charges, saying he could not be tried on post-extradition charges.
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On June 14, Justice Department lawyers said they would continue to prosecute Bankman-Freed on the original eight charges they filed against him, citing a potentially lengthy process if the court waits for Bankman-Freed’s petition to be approved in the Bahamas.
A new trial in March will focus on allegations of bribery, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transfer business, conspiracy in bank fraud, and derivatives and securities fraud.
Other allegations involve various transfer, derivatives and securities frauds and collusion allegedly committed by FTX and Alameda Research, as well as allegations of money laundering.
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