Key Words: Bill Ackman doubles down on Sam Bankman-Fried defense: ‘I am just presuming he is innocent unless and until he is proven guilty’.

by | Jan 13, 2023 | Stock Market

“The accused are owed the presumption of innocence during this period. And from a personal perspective, it sucks. You are treated like a crook.” That was Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman, doubling down on his belief that FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried could be innocent of federal criminal charges. The billionaire hedge-fund manager posted a lengthy Twitter thread late Thursday explaining that while he doesn’t know whether or not Bankman-Fried is guilty of white-collar fraud, he wants to believe in innocence before a guilty verdict after his experience of a federal investigation from 2003.

Bankman-Fried is currently under house arrest in California and faces a federal trial later this year. He has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges including two counts of wire fraud, and six conspiracy counts. He faces similar charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Ackman said that Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, is “the biggest prize” for prosecutors because of his media notoriety and a conviction could be career-defining for a young prosecutor. He also questioned whether guilty pleas from Bankman-Fried’s former associates Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang imply that SBF is guilty. “SBF’s two associates would gladly see him convicted in exchange for dramatically reduced sentences for themselves so we can’t rely on their words as proof that he is guilt …

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