U.S. judge puts SEC, CFTC cases against FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried on hold By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former FTX Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces fraud charges over the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, leaves federal court in New York City, U.S., February 9, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Segar

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday put two regulators’ civil lawsuits against Sam Bankman-Fried on hold until the conclusion of the Department of Justice’s criminal case against the founder of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan granted a Justice Department motion to stay the lawsuits filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Prosecutors said it made sense to delay those lawsuits because the cases substantially overlapped, and the outcome of the criminal case would likely affect what issues remained in the civil cases.

They also cited the risk that Bankman-Fried could gather evidence in the civil cases to improperly impeach government witnesses, circumvent discovery rules in criminal cases, and tailor his criminal defense.

Bankman-Fried consented to putting the civil cases on hold.

Stays of SEC and CFTC lawsuits are common when the Justice Department files parallel criminal cases.

Bankman-Fried, 30, has been free on $250 million bond and living in Palo Alto, California, with his parents since pleading not guilty to looting billions of dollars from FTX. Another Manhattan federal judge, Lewis Kaplan, oversees that case.

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