Judge Rejects FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried's Motions to Dismiss Criminal Charges

The judge had already denied some of the motions.

AccessTimeIconJun 27, 2023 at 4:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 27, 2023 at 6:22 p.m. UTC
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The federal judge overseeing FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried's criminal trial denied his pretrial motions to dismiss criminal charges against him, writing that the exchange's founder did not have standing to dismiss many of these charges and didn't meet the "extraordinary" circumstances for a dismissal.

Bankman-Fried, who faces wire fraud, bank fraud, operating an unlicensed money transmitter, bribery and campaign finance charges, filed to dismiss the bulk of these charges last month across seven pretrial motions. After a court hearing earlier this month, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the last three of those motions.

On Tuesday, he denied Bankman-Fried's motions to dismiss the bank fraud, money transmitter, campaign finance, bribery, wire fraud and other fraud charges.

The judge's 41-page memorandum details his reasoning for rejecting the four remaining pretrial motions to dismiss, addressing questions of venue and whether prosecutors have alleged valid property right claims in bringing fraud charges.

"The Second Circuit has deemed dismissal an 'extreme sanction' that has been upheld 'only in very limited and extreme circumstances,' and should be 'reserved for the truly extreme cases,' 'especially where serious criminal conduct is involved," the judge wrote.

Judge Kaplan had previously allowed Bankman-Fried and prosecutors to sever five of the 13 charges brought against the onetime FTX CEO, setting a March 2024 trial date for those charges.

Bankman-Fried argued that the Bahamas had to consent to charges brought post-extradition, an argument a Bahamas court agreed to prior to this month's hearing.

The judge noted that the Bahamas had not objected to any of the charges yet, though a "renewed motion" may be filed if that changes.

However, prosecutors are now set for an Oct. 2, 2023 trial date on the first eight charges they brought against Bankman-Fried.

UPDATE (June 27, 2023, 16:20 UTC): Adds additional detail.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

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