Feds say they won’t bring second trial against Sam Bankman-Fried

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s stunning fall from grace

Sam Bankman-Fried’s stunning fall from grace 01:56

A second trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on charges not in the cryptocurrency fraud case presented to a jury that convicted him in November is not necessary, prosecutors told a judge Friday.

Prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in a letter that evidence at a second trial would duplicate evidence already shown to a jury. They also said it would ignore the “strong public interest in a prompt resolution” of the case, particularly because victims would not benefit from forfeiture or restitution orders if sentencing is delayed.

They said the judge can consider the evidence that would be used at a second trial when he sentences Bankman-Fried on March 28 for defrauding customers and investors of at least $10 billion.

Bankman-Fried, 31, who has been incarcerated since several weeks before his trial, was convicted in early November of seven counts, including wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and three conspiracy charges. He could face decades in prison.

Last spring, prosecutors withdrew some charges they had brought against Bankman-Fried because the charges had not been approved as part of his extradition from the Bahamas in December 2022. They said the charges could be brought at a second trial to occur sometime in 2024.

However, prosecutors at the time said that they would still present evidence to the jury at the 2023 trial about the substance of the charges.

The charges that were temporarily dropped included conspiracy to make unlawful campaign contributions, conspiracy to bribe foreign officials and two other conspiracy counts. He also was charged with securities fraud and commodities fraud.

In their letter to Kaplan, prosecutors noted that they introduced evidence about all of the dropped charges during Bankman-Fried’s monthlong trial.

They said authorities in the Bahamas still have not responded to their request to bring the additional charges at a second trial.

A conviction on the additional charges would not result in a potential for a longer prison sentence for Bankman-Fried, prosecutors said.

“Proceeding with sentencing in March 2024 without the delay that would be caused by a second trial would advance the public’s interest in a timely and just resolution of the case,” prosecutors wrote. “The interest in avoiding delay weighs particularly heavily here, where the judgment will likely include orders of forfeiture and restitution for the victims of the defendant’s crimes.”

When reached by CBS News, attorneys for Bankman-Fried declined to comment, as did the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. 

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