Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to five additional charges brought in a superseding indictment.
In an arraignment hearing on Thursday, Bankman-Fried entered a not guilty plea through his lawyer Mark Cohen to a new set of charges against him, including paying a $40 million bribe to Chinese government officials.
Earlier this week, U.S. prosecutors released a superseding indictment, alleging that Bankman-Fried directed Alameda employees to transfer a crypto payment to Chinese authorities to secure two Alameda trading accounts that had been frozen. The accounts held at least $1 billion worth of crypto.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers plan to argue that these charges were improperly filed, seeing as they followed his extradition from the Bahamas to the U.S.
“As Mr. Cohen stated in court, we will be challenging the new charges when motions are filed,” said a spokesperson for Bankman-Fried after the hearing had ended.
In pleading NOT guilty, his attorney told Judge Kaplan that SBF is not agreeing he can be tried on the new charges.
At the hearing, SBF wore a dark navy suit, white button-down shirt with a tie and brown dress shoes. His hair also appeared to be shorter.
— Chloe Atkins (@chloe_aatkins) March 30, 2023
At the hearing, prosecutors shared a glimpse of the strength of their case against the FTX founder, Fortune reported. Assistant U.S. attorney Nicolas Roos said that his team, along with FBI investigators, were in possession of seven of Bankman-Fried’s devices, including phones and laptops, 6 million pages of evidence, and a cooperating witness.
Roos said that his team of prosecutors are nearing the end of the discovery process and expect to have all the seized devices cataloged by early April.
Bankman-Fried is scheduled to face trial in October. He currently resides in his parent’s home in Palo Alto, following a $250 million bond that secured his bail. The terms of his bail agreement were recently modified to curtail his use of electronic devices and the internet. Under the new terms, Bankman-Fried has been permitted to use a laptop installed with monitoring software and access only certain pre-approved websites.