Court documents show that the federal court in the Southern District of New York will arraign Sam Bankman-Fried on January, 3rd, 2023.
Reports indicate that the disgraced crypto entrepreneur is planning on entering a plea in front of US Judge Lewis Kaplan in his fraud case in Manhattan.
A no-nonsense judge
Judge Ronnie Abrams had been presiding over the case of Sam Bankman-Fried until recently when she recused herself due to a conflict of interest.
According to the judge, her husband Greg Andres is a partner at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, which is based in New York City and his company advised FTX in the previous year.
After her withdrawal from the case, Judge Lewis Kaplan was chosen to replace her in SBF’s case, with the 78-year-old known to have a reputation for being a ‘no-nonsense’ judge.
He has overseen a number of high-profile cases, such as those involving the 45th US President, Donald Trump, and of the Duke of York, Prince Andrews.
It was reported on December 28th by Reuters that SBF is planning on entering a plea in his arraignment when he faces Judge Kaplan.
Court documents indicate that the co-founder of FTX is scheduled to appear in Manhattan’s federal court on January 3rd, 2023.
This news comes after the testimony of Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, was unsealed.
She has been cooperating with federal law enforcement officials and disclosed in her testimony that she participated in a number of fraudulent acts since 2019.
In addition, a number of people do not think that the court is going to take it easy with Sam Bankman-Fried.
Brian Wice, a criminal defense attorney, had said previously that Damian Williams, the US attorney in SDNY has a very strong case, with only a ‘few holes’.
He said that the feds would not have taken things forward unless they knew that they could establish go beyond a reasonable doubt.
Wice said that Gary Wang, the co-founder of FTX, and Ellison did not have ‘ironclad plea deals’, but their sentences would be reduced significantly if they give testimony truthfully.
Talking about SBF, the criminal defense lawyer said that he had a tough road ahead of him and things would get difficult with more people cooperating against him.
He said that Damian Williams had already made it known that anyone with knowledge of, or involvement in the case should come forward right away, or it would get worse.
Other than the SDNY case that has been brought against SBF, the customers of FTX have also filed a class-action lawsuit want to get the digital assets tied to FTX and Alameda.
According to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the loans that Alameda Research had taken from FTX were a violation of the latter’s Terms of Service.
Therefore, they claim that they have ownership of the funds and the court should return their assets before any other creditors are paid.