SBF Trial - Kaplan Succeeds Abrams as Trial Judge

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 A new twist to the SBF trial is expected
Barely a week after Ronnie Abrams quit her role as presiding Judge in the court proceeding against the disgraced former FTX boss, Sam Bankman-Fried, a new Judge has been appointed.  He is 78-year-old Lewis Kaplan. Through a flourishing legal career spanning over three decades, he has come to be known for being stern and extremely practical in his manner of pronouncements, having presided over many celebrated court cases cutting across a broad spectrum. These include:

  • Sentencing the sole respondent in what has been touted as the first Bitcoin fraud trial to an 18-month jail period.
  • In the year 2000, Kaplan ruled in favor of the movie industry asserting the sole right of motion picture makers to prevent unauthorized copying of DVDs into PCs.
  • For active engagement as a spokesperson for the notorious terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law, received a jail for life sentence from Kaplan.
  • Three men who were found guilty of financial inducement in a college basketball event were sentenced by Kaplan to prison terms in 2019.

Judge and gavel in courtroom

A Pragmatic Consideration
SBF was arrested in the Bahamas after being seriously indicted for the perceived role he played in the collapse of his Crypto exchange, FTX. Shortly after, he was flown to the US to face charges in a Southern District New York court, presided over by Ronnie Abrams. Seeing the possibility of a conflicting position on account of her husband’s link to a law firm that once serviced FTX in 2021, she voluntarily resigned from her role. Perhaps the complexity surrounding the FTX fall and the intricacy around its embattled co-founder, requires that a tough and pragmatic legal luminary be called up for that purpose.

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