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SBF Decides Against Filing Post-Trial Motions, Shifts Focus to Appeal

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read

The lawyers of disgraced FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, have decided to not file any post-trial motions following his fraud conviction on November 2nd, according to a letter filed by his attorneys on December 1st.

SBF’s potential appeal

“After further consideration, we have decided not to file any post-trial motions,” wrote Bankman-Fried’s attorneys in a letter to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. “We reserve our rights to pursue any claims on appeal.”

Depending on the kind, a granted post-trial motion has the potential to change the result of a trial entirely. The decision by Bankman-Fried’s defense suggests that they will be focusing their efforts on an appeal.

“Mr Bankman-Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him,” said defense attorney, Mark Cohen, in a statement shortly following his client’s conviction.

“One of the biggest financial frauds in American history”

The defense’s decision to not file any post-trial motions follows a nearly month-long trial that saw Bankman-Fried’s former associates and closest friends testify against him. The FTX founder’s co-conspirators alleged they and Bankman-Fried gave FTX’s sister company, Alameda Research, special privileges on the exchange, including a $65 billion line of credit that was used for real estate purchases, political donations, and venture investments. By the time FTX collapsed in November 2022, the crypto exchange owed $8 billion back to customers.  

“Sam Bankman-Fried perpetrated one of the biggest financial frauds in American history – a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the King of Crypto – but while the cryptocurrency industry might be new and the players like Sam Bankman-Fried might be new, this kind of corruption is as old as time,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a press conference shortly following his conviction. “This case has always been about lying, cheating, and stealing, and we have no patience for it.”

Will SBF face a second trial?

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried is facing a potential second trial scheduled to begin on March 11th, 2024 pending agreement from the Bahamian government.

Should the second trial take place, Bankman-Fried will face numerous additional charges, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, securities fraud against FTX investors, and conspiracy to operate as an unlicensed money transmitter business. 

However, the FTX founder is already facing a maximum penalty of over a century in prison, with his sentencing set for March 28th, 2024.

Currently, the Department of Justice has until the deadline of February 1st, 2024 to decide whether or not to proceed with Bankman-Fried’s second trial.