On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, the trial of former FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman Fried is set to begin in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Initially arrested on fraud and conspiracy charges in late March 2021, Bankman Fried is facing an array of allegations that revolve around misappropriating hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate funds and participating in fraudulent schemes.
Since assuming the role of CEO in 2019, Bankman Fried has made huge strides towards pushing the cryptocurrency space further into mainstream acceptance. His stock exchange platform, FTX, experienced immense success over the past few years, culminating in a $3.5 billion valuation at the close of 2020.
Bankman Fried has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that he acted on FOIA requests seeking documents from the company’s audit team only after they were made and that his actions were part of an effort to ensure the exchange’s compliance with SEC regulations. To further back up his innocence, Bankman Fried has submitted to the court declarations from some of FTX’s investor’s that attest to his professionalism and ethical handling of the company’s finances.
The judge presiding over the case, Judge Richard E. Stanwood, recently denied Bankman Fried’s motion to dismiss the case, giving the prosecution every chance to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the former CEO had committed the crimes in question. As the trial progresses, the world will be kept apprised of the proceedings and will have to wait and see whether Bankman Fried will be found guilty or acquitted.