U.S. Criminal Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried Don’t Warrant Dismissal, Prosecutors Say

Lawyers for the disgraced FTX executive filed pre-trial motions in early May to dismiss most of the charges on technicalities or procedural issues.

AccessTimeIconMay 30, 2023 at 8:13 a.m. UTC

Criminal charges that lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried sought to dismiss, including technicalities around his extradition back to the U.S. and campaign finance violations, are valid, prosecutors said in court filings from Monday.

In early May, Bankman-Fried filed pretrial motions to dismiss most charges levied against him by U.S. prosecutors, with his defense arguing procedural issues, the irrelevance of some U.S. laws given FTX's non-U.S. location, and that the charges exceeded the agreed extradition terms. The motions did not seek to dismiss securities fraud and money laundering charges.

With regards to Bankman-Fried’s argument that the Bahamas needs to approve any charges prior to extradition, prosecutors contended that the extradition treaty with the Caribbean nation allows for post-extradition charges with the consent of the extraditing country, and any charges presented post-extradition in new indictments do not violate this rule.

One of these charges, filed in March, alleged that the former executive had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) because he offered $40 million to unnamed Chinese officials to convince them to unfreeze accounts.

While Bankman-Fried argued allegations he had committed commodity fraud are invalid because it involves extraterritorial enforcement, U.S. prosecutors said the accusations should stand as the impact of FTX’s trades were felt in crypto markets within the U.S.

On the allegations of campaign finance law violation – which center around Bankman-Fried donating money in the names of FTX executives – prosecutors said his arguments don't hold up because the indictment details exactly how he worked to obscure the source of funds for donations.

The filing also notes that the defense has requested more discovery documents, arguing that the FTX estate "should be considered part of the 'prosecution team'" due to its cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Bankman-Fried is due in a New York court in October.

Edited by Sandali Handagama.


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