FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Intends to Blame Fenwick & West Lawyers in His Defense

Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in court Tuesday to plead not guilty to latest indictment.

AccessTimeIconAug 23, 2023 at 1:32 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 29, 2023 at 4:41 a.m. UTC
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Sam Bankman-Fried intends to argue he was acting in "good faith" in loaning funds to FTX and Alameda executives, in setting Signal messages to auto-delete and in setting up a set of North American entities because he was following the advice of lawyers, including law firm Fenwick & West.

The FTX founder's defense team published a letter Wednesday detailing his planned "advice of counsel" strategy, saying he would produce evidence that both in-house and Fenwick attorneys "were involved in reviewing and approving decisions related to these matters."

"Evidence of the defendant’s reliance on counsel is relevant to the question of intent and is not limited to situations where the defense can establish that the defendant formally sought out the advice of counsel, received legal advice, and followed the advice given," the letter said.

CoinDesk has reached out for comment to Fenwick & West but did not immediately receive a response.

The letter also took issue with the Department of Justice's argument for more information about the defense, saying prosecutors had previously pushed back against the defense team's unsuccessful bid to get information from the law firm.

Bankman-Fried appeared in court Tuesday to plead not guilty to the latest superseding indictment against him, which contained wire fraud and conspiracy charges. He's set to go on trial in early October.

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.


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Nikhilesh De

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