San Francisco, Oct 4 (IANS): The US government has denied offering any plea deal to Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of the now bankrupt crypto exchange FTX who is currently facing a trial.
On the first day of Bankman-Fried’s six-week trial on Tuesday at the Southern District of New York, the Joe Biden government’s lawyers told federal district Judge Lewis Kaplan that they never offered any plea offers to the former CEO.
Bankman-Fried shed his usual cargo pants and T-shirt for a suit and tie; his usually messy curls seem to have been trimmed a bit as well.
He didn’t talk much, only speaking out once to say “yes” when Kaplan asked if he understood he had the right to testify if he wanted to.
Kaplan said the trial could likely take less than six weeks, reports TechCrunch.
“It rarely takes that long”, the judge was quoted as saying.
Kaplan anticipated that the 12 jurors and six alternates will be chosen prior to the opening statements from both parties.
Bankman-Fried is likely to face seven criminal charges related to misuse of user funds at FTX and Alameda Research.
FTX -- once the world's second-largest cryptocurrency exchange -- filed for bankruptcy in November last year.
Bankman-Fried is also facing suits by the SEC and CFTC over similar charges.
He was arrested in the Bahamas on December 12, 2022 and extradited to the US on December 21.