Judge for Trump and Prince Andrew to preside over SBF cryptocurrency case | Sam Bankman-Fried

featured image

A Manhattan federal judge known for quick decisions and no-nonsense behavior was assigned Tuesday to the Sam Bankman-Fried cryptocurrency case.

The case was relegated to Judge Lewis A Kaplan after the originally appointed judge refused because her husband worked for a law firm that did work related to FTX, Bankman-Fried’s failed cryptocurrency exchange.

Kaplan is now presiding over a civil lawsuit brought by former Elle magazine columnist E Jean Carroll against Donald Trump. Carroll says Trump raped her in the dressing room of an upscale Manhattan department store in 1995 or 1996. Trump denies the charge. A trial is scheduled for April.

Kaplan also presided over an American woman’s sexual abuse claims against Prince Andrew before the two sides came to blows earlier this year, with Andrew declaring he never intended to defame the woman’s character and agreeing to donate to his charity charity. Prior to the settlement, Kaplan declined Andrew’s request to dismiss the suit.

Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas two weeks ago and flown to the United States last week to face charges of deceiving investors and looting customer deposits on his trading platform.

On Thursday, he was released on $250m (£208m) bail to live with his parents in Palo Alto, Calif., with an electronic monitoring bracelet attached.

Kaplan, 78, has held senior status on the federal court in Manhattan for more than a decade. He was appointed to the bench by Bill Clinton in 1994.

He has overseen high-profile trials and several notable cases in the financial world, including what authorities have described as the first federal bitcoin securities fraud prosecution. Kaplan sentenced the defendant to 18 months in prison.

In 2014, he prevented US courts from being used to collect an Ecuadorian $9 billion (£7 billion) judgment against Chevron for rainforest damage, saying lawyers in the case had poisoned an honorable search with misconduct. illegal and unfair.

In 2012, he delayed accepting a guilty plea from a Utah banker, ordering prosecutors to explain why they were letting the banker plead guilty to a misdemeanor of banking gambling rather than a felony.

Kaplan has been known to get irritated with lawyers on all sides.

In 1997, he criticized the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for not acting quickly enough in an asylum case.

“That’s as fast as a glacier going up a hill,” he countered.

Calling the agency’s behavior “absolutely outrageous”, he added: “The INS, in the three years I’ve been in court, have disastrously acquitted more than once, but this one takes the cake and I won’t be staying for long. more time.”

In 2000, Kaplan ruled in favor of the film industry, giving it legal protection to protect DVDs from being copied on computers.

“Computer code is not purely expressive, just as the assassination of a political figure is not purely a political statement,” he said.

More recently, Kaplan presided over the civil trial of Kevin Spacey after another actor accused him of trying to molest him in his apartment after a party when he was 14 and Spacey was 26. A jury sided with Spacey, finding that Anthony Rapp had not proved his case.

In 2019, Kaplan sentenced three men to prison after they were convicted in a college basketball scandal in which a former Adidas executive and two others paid families to persuade top recruits to play at cobbler-sponsored schools.

Nearly a dozen years ago, Kaplan sentenced Ahmed Ghailani, a former US prison inmate at Guantanamo Bay, to life in prison. Kaplan presided over a trial in which Ghailani was convicted of conspiring to destroy the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. Americans were among 224 people killed in the attacks.

In 2015, Kaplan sentenced Adel Abdul Bary, an Egyptian lawyer, to 25 years in prison for his role in the US embassy attacks.

In 2014, Kaplan sentenced Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, to life in prison for serving as a spokesman for Al Qaeda after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Kaplan also presided over efforts to reduce the sentences of men convicted of the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, which killed six people and injured more than 1,000.