FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who appeared before the US District Judge Lewis Kaplan for the second time, pleaded not guilty to fraud and other criminal charges.
The 30-year-old founder was released by a Manhattan judge -about two weeks earlier and ordered to stay with his parents after offering a $250 million personal recognisance bond.
While he wasn’t required to deposit any money with the court, the government could move to seize his parents’ property if he failed to appear in court.
Bankman-Fried is accused of stealing billions of dollars of customer funds from the FTX cryptocurrency exchange that he founded and led. He is also charged with defrauding investors and lenders to his trading firm, Alameda Research.
"He evaded campaign-finance contribution limits and reporting requirements when he made millions of dollars in illegal political contributions funded by Alameda," the prosecutors said.
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas in December and was brought to the US to face charges. Initially, he affirmed that he didn’t intend to commit fraud but acknowledged making mistakes while running the company.
Judge Kaplan has set the next court hearing for May 18.
The former founder resigned from his crypto exchange, FTX, after it collapsed from due to the surge in customers trying to withdraw their funds in November 2022.
Resultantly, the company filed for bankruptcy.
It was reported that Bankman-Fried may have taken about $10 billion of FTX customers’ funds for his trading firm, Alameda Research.
FTX confirmed in reports that it could trace its $720 million previously deposited in various US banks. Another over $500 million is also held in US financial institutions till December 2022.