The 30-year-old businessman, released on bail, testified on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court before Judge Lewis Kaplan.
During the hearing, the merchant and businessman remained silent, leaving the floor to his lawyer, Mark Cohen. The strategy differs from that of Gary Wang, the former head of FTX, who pleaded guilty last month and is working with authorities, as well as former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison.
FTX and investment firm Alameda Research went bankrupt in 2022. The company was once valued at $32 billion.
Bankman-Fried is suspected of having used, along with other collaborators, the resources deposited on the platform by clients to carry out speculative transactions via Alameda Research.
The businessman is also suspected of having invested some of this money in real estate in the Bahamas and of having donated to Democratic politicians – always with client funds – including Joe Biden, during the presidential campaign .
The businessman faces eight counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and violation of the Election Finances Act.
Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to eight counts, five of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison each.
Judge Kaplan has set October 2 as the tentative date for the start of the businessman’s trial. Manhattan US Attorney Danielle Sassoon estimated the process would take four weeks, while defense attorneys estimated it at two to three weeks. The judge did not rule on this point.
Bankman-Fried was released on $250 million bail last month after being extradited from FTX’s Bahamas.
The businessman recently said that he only has $100,000 left in the bank, and that he will have to live in his parents’ house in Palo Alto, California, subject to an electronic bracelet.
The prosecutor indicated on Tuesday that the number of people affected by the FTX could be more than one million people.