cryptocurrency

Bankman-Fried’s criminal case assigned to judge in Trump, Prince Andrew cases

Reuters
Bankman-Fried’s criminal case assigned to judge in Trump, Prince Andrew cases

SAM BANKMAN-FRIED. Former FTX chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces fraud charges over the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, walks from the Manhattan federal court after securing bail in New York City, USA, on December 22, 2022.

Jeenah Moon/Reuters

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan replaces his colleague Ronnie Abrams, who recused herself after learning the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner, advised FTX in 2021

Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal case over the collapse of his FTX cryptocurrency exchange has been reassigned to a judge recently known for handling defamation lawsuits against former US President Donald Trump and a sexual abuse lawsuit against Britain’s Prince Andrew.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan replaces his colleague Ronnie Abrams, who recused herself on Friday after learning that the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner, advised FTX in 2021.

Known for his no-nonsense demeanor in the courtroom, Kaplan, a judge since 1994, oversees two civil lawsuits by former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll accusing Trump of defaming her by denying he raped her in a Manhattan department store dressing room 27 years ago.

Trump has sought the dismissal of both lawsuits, including a battery claim.

Kaplan also recently oversaw Virginia Giuffre’s civil lawsuit accusing Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was 17 at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, the now-convicted former associate of late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew settled that case in February.

The US Department of Justice accused Bankman-Fried of causing billions of dollars of losses related to FTX, once the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, including by using customer funds to support his Alameda Research crypto trading platform.

Bankman-Fried has acknowledged risk-management failures at FTX, but said he does not believe he is criminally liable for what prosecutors called a “fraud of epic proportions.”

After being extradited to New York from the Bahamas to face the charges, the 30-year-old Bankman-Fried was released on Thursday on a $250 million bond, and required to remain under detention at his parents’ California home. He has not entered a plea. – Rappler.com

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