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SBF to Face Court Proceedings for its Criminal Charges Before SEC and CFTC Cases

  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have deferred their cases against SBF until after the criminal trial has concluded. 

  • This decision allows the criminal proceedings to take precedence and ensures that the outcome of the criminal trial will not be affected by any civil proceedings.

SBF to Face Court Pr

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, had advocated for the postponement of civil cases due to a significant overlap between the cases of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Justice.

A New York judge has granted a request from prosecutors to defer civil proceedings against Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the Securities Exchange Commission until after his criminal trial in October. This decision allows Bankman-Fried to focus on his criminal trial without the added pressure of civil proceedings.

On February 13th, U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel of Manhattan granted the motion to stay the civil proceedings "without prejudice," meaning the cases against FTX founder and former CEO Damian Williams will be suspended until the conclusion of the criminal trial for the Department of Justice. Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, had initially submitted the motion on February 7th.

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Citing his reasons for wanting the delay, Williams emphasized that all three cases would likely hinge on providing the same evidence against Bankman-Fried and that the Department of Justice's trial in October would have a “significant impact” on these civil cases.

He also suggested that failing to delay the cases could give SBF an unfair advantage in the DOJ’s trial, as the FTX founder had the tools to “improperly obtain impeachment material regarding the government’s witnesses, circumvent the criminal discovery rules, and tailor his defense in the criminal case to his advantage.” Bankman-Fried’s legal team did not oppose William’s motion to postpone the proceedings.

In a related court development concerning SBF's alleged witness tampering antics, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York extended the FTX founder's ban on using all encrypted messaging apps until February 21st, as part of his bail conditions.

A week prior, SBF's legal team had negotiated a deal to use certain encrypted apps under strict supervision, however, Judge Kaplan overruled it and suggested that he was more concerned with preventing any encrypted communication than granting SBF a minor convenience. It appears that Judge Kaplan is taking a firm stance on the issue, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that SBF does not engage in any illegal activities.

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