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Prosecutors Hesitant to Pursue Second Trial Against Sam Bankman-Fried

A Second Trial Deemed Redundant Following First Conviction

U.S. prosecutors have submitted a letter to the Manhattan federal court advocating against pursuing a second trial against Sam Bankman-Fried, the ex-CEO of now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange. Bankman-Fried was convicted last month on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy related to embezzling customer funds from FTX totaling $8 billion. However, prosecutors now consider a second trial that focuses on Bankman-Fried’s six other charges, including campaign finance violations and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, to be unnecessary.

Prosecutors aim for a swift case conclusion, with Bankman-Fried’s sentencing set for March 28, 2024. They argue that ample evidence relevant to sentencing was presented in the first trial, and a second trial focusing on the remaining charges would likely not impact Bankman-Fried’s sentence. A lack of consent from Bahamian authorities where FTX was headquartered has also complicated the other charges.

Despite Bankman-Fried’s conviction, he plans to appeal and denies allegations of stealing customer funds, claiming ignorance of FTX and Alameda Research’s financial state until their collapse. He faces a potentially lengthy prison sentence that U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan will determine.

Key Witnesses May Avoid Jail Due to Cooperation

Key witnesses and former colleagues Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh admitted to fraud but might avoid jail due to cooperation deals. All three have pleaded guilty and their cooperation which led to Bankman-Fried’s conviction may result in leniency. However, their professional reputations and future opportunities have been damaged due to the FTX scandal, and they could face long-lasting financial consequences.

FTX declared bankruptcy nearly a year ago, wiping out Bankman-Fried’s approximated $26 billion fortune. Prosecutors now prioritize a swift case conclusion, seeing a second trial as unnecessary.

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