U.S. judge sets October 2023 trial for Archegos founder Bill Hwang

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FILE PHOTO: Sung Kook (Bill) Hwang exits the Manhattan federal courthouse in New York City

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Bill Hwang, the Archegos Capital Management founder accused of saddling banks with $10 billion of losses from highly leveraged trades that went sour, will go on trial in October of next year on racketeering and fraud charges, a U.S. judge said on Thursday.

Hwang was arrested in April and pleaded not guilty to charges related to the March 2021 meltdown of his New York private investment firm. He has been free on $100 million bond.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein set a Oct. 10, 2023 trial date in Manhattan federal court.

The trial will likely last between six and eight weeks, prosecutor Andrew Thomas told the judge at a hearing. Lawrence Lustberg, a lawyer for Hwang, agreed with Thomas' estimate.

Archegos, which had $36 billion in assets, collapsed when it failed to meet margin calls after being caught short on trades through so-called total return swaps.

Prosecutors have said Hwang amassed large equity exposures by lying to banks about Archegos' cash and liquidity, in order to increase the firm's credit lines.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci)