Sam Bankman-Fried continues his circus and dares to plead not guilty!

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to a series of financial crimes on Tuesday in a New York federal court as part of his indictment.

Gathered in a paneled courtroom with a view of the foggy New York skyline, Bankman-Fried sat flanked by his legal team on both sides. He appeared at his arraignment clean-shaven, wearing a navy blue suit and reddish brown dress shoes. It was a drastic change from the T-shirt and shorts he is known to wear.

Sam Bankman-Fried faces eight criminal charges, including wire fraud and money laundering. He is also charged with violating campaign finance law by allegedly making illegal campaign contributions with diverted client funds worth tens of millions of dollars.

His court appearance follows the unexpected FTX collapse that rocked the crypto-currency in November. A collapse of the exchange’s FTT token shook consumer confidence in FTX and led to a run on the exchange. The rush of customer withdrawals created a liquidity shortage that forced the company to admit that it did not hold one-for-one reserves of customer assets, which ultimately led the exchange to disable withdrawals before filing for bankruptcy.

SBF kept its head down and its gaze forward until the proceedings began, occasionally glancing to the side. His shoulders slumped forward as he sat in his chair.

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The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York charged Bankman-Fried with misappropriating client funds and deceiving investors and lenders. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all eight counts against him. His trial date has been set for October 2 of this year.

Sam Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO of FTX when the company filed for bankruptcy and faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in federal prison if convicted of the charges.

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors have gone after others associated with FTX and Alameda Research, a trading firm owned by Bankman-Fried that allegedly received billions of dollars in client funds to fuel its trades.

FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, have pleaded guilty to financial crimes related to FTX and are cooperating with investigations into Bankman-Fried and the defunct exchange, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas just over two weeks ago and extradited to the United States after spending several days at the Fox Hill Correctional Facility located in Nassau, a facility known for its harsh conditions.

After his return to the United States, Bankman-Fried was released on a $250 million bond agreement, in which his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California, was posted as collateral, where he is currently under house arrest.

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Recently, Bankman-Fried returned to Twitter, for the first time since his arrest. The FTX founder broke his silence on Friday to deny being involved in the Alameda-related money transfer, which took place days after his release.

Less than a week ago, Bankman-Fried’s court case was reassigned from Judge Ronnie Abrams to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. Abrams recused herself from overseeing the Bankman-Fried case because of her husband’s work at a law firm as a partner who had advised FTX in 2021.

Attorneys Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell were in court Tuesday representing Bankman-Fried. Mark Cohen was once part of the legal team that represented Ghislaine Maxwell, a convicted sex trafficker.

Federal prosecutors said they expect to produce thousands of documents from FTX debtors, investors and individual employees, noting that the discovery process is still ongoing and will unfold as it goes.

For example, federal prosecutors said they were recently able to access an Amazon Web Services database that contains customer transaction history, but were unable to obtain all of the data from the source.

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