Accused FTX founder Bankman-Fried urges court to dismiss charges

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by Luke Cohen

YORK (Reuters) – Sam Bankman-Fried, who has long denied stealing from customers of his FTX cryptocurrency exchange, said on Monday that prosecutors were rushing to charge him with “harassment” and a US judge Asked to drop 10 out of 13 criminal cases. His.

In a filing in Manhattan federal court, attorneys for Bankman-Fried said the now-defunct FTX was far from the only cryptocurrency company to collapse during a widespread market crash in 2022, and that prosecutors were “hurry to pass judgment” on their client. ” Accused of.

His lawyers wrote, “Rather than waiting for the traditional civil and regulatory processes to address the situation, the government jumped in with both , unreasonably seeking to turn these civil and regulatory issues into federal crimes.”

Bankman-Fried, a 31-year-old former billionaire, rode a rapid run to amass an estimated $26 billion net worth in bitcoin and other digital assets, and became an influential political and philanthropic donor before FTX declared in November. Went.

He has pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy.

The exchange erupted after a flurry of customer withdrawals in the wake of reports of composite assets with Bankman-Fried's crypto-focused hedge fund, Alameda Research.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Bankman-Fried misled FTX investors and lenders, and Alameda siphoned billions of dollars of customer funds to reduce losses, buy real estate and make political contributions through an illegal straw-donor scheme. Stole it. He has also accused him of bribing Chinese officials.

Ahead of the scheduled October 2 trial, his lawyers asked US District Judge Lewis Kaplan to order prosecutors to turn over any documents in FTX's possession that could help the defense, arguing that Prosecutors were only seeking information from the company that would help their case.

“The FTX debtors have worked so extensively with the government, and have been so entwined in the investigation, analysis and strategy of the government's case, that they should be considered part of the ‘prosecution team,'” their attorneys wrote.

Representatives of FTX's current leadership did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the US attorney's office in Manhattan declined to comment.

Prosecutors have until May 29 to respond to the request for Bankman-Fried's dismissal, and Kaplan will hear arguments on June 15.


Bankman-Fried has acknowledged that FTX had inadequate risk management, but denies the theft of funds, and has sought to recuse herself from FTX's day-to-day operations.

Three one-time close associates — Alameda's former co-chief executive Caroline Ellison, former FTX technology chief Gary Wang, and former FTX engineering chief Nishad Singh — all pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

In pleading guilty, Singh admitted to making political donations in his name, which were partially financed by transfers from Alameda.

But Bankman-Fried's lawyers said Monday that the donations made by Singh, which prosecutors refer to as CC-1 in the documents charging against their client, do not in fact violate election .

“The campaign finance allegations show, nevertheless, the consequences of the government's rush to indict Mr. Bankman-Fried,” his lawyers wrote.

Bankman-Fried has been largely confined to his parents' home since his December arrest in the Bahamas, where he lived and where FTX was based. He was extradited to the United States only a week after his arrest.

His parents, who live in Palo Alto, California, are law professors at Stanford University and co-signed his $250 million bond.

Her lawyers said in court papers Monday that the campaign finance charge should be dismissed because it was not included in a surrender warrant signed by the Bahamas' minister of foreign affairs before Bankman-Fried's extradition, and other charges including bribery There were allegations. Improperly brought after being extradited.

(Reporting by Luke Cohen in New York; Editing by Cameron-Moore)