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US Prosecutors Slam Sam Bankman-Fried’s Opposition to Criminal Charges

source-logo  financemagnates.com 31 May 2023 19:41, UTC

US prosecutors in court documents filed on Monday opposed pre-trial motions filed by FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers to dismiss several of the thirteen charges against him. In one of the filings, the prosecutors said the motions were “meritless”.

Prosecutors Stand by Charges

In late 2022, Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas over the collapse of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. The arrest came after criminal charges were filed against him in the United States. Some of the charges include conspiracy to commit wire, bank and securities frauds, to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, commit money laundering and make unlawful political contributions.

In March, prosecutors hit the disgraced entrepreneur with an additional charge: conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He is alleged to have paid $40 million in bribes to Chinese officials to unfreeze certain accounts belonging to FTX’s sister trading firm Alameda Research.

In early May, Bankman-Fried lawyers filed pre-trial motions to dismiss several of the charges, including those related to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on FTX customers and Alameda lenders.However, the motions did not counter the securities fraud and money laundering charges against the former FTX CEO.

Meanwhile, the lawyersargue that the indictment against Bankman-Fried includes extra charges that run afoul of extradition terms agreed with the Bahamas. Furthermore, the lawyers in one of the motions sought to dismiss charges on conspiracy to commit wire fraud, operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, make unlawful political contributions and to defraud the Federal Election Commission as well as violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Opposing these charges, they cited “the rule of specialty, or in the alternative, for disclosure of additional discovery from the Government.” The discovery process is a pre-trial procedure that allows parties in a lawsuit to gather information about the case from each other.

However, reacting in its latest filing, US prosecutors defended their charges. With regards to the extradition terms, they noted that they have not violated the terms as the agreement allows for extra charges after extradition with the consent of the Bahamas.

On the lawyers’ opposition to charges on campaign finance law violation in which Bankman-Fried is accused of fraudulent political donations through his former executives, prosecutors said their indictment contained enough details on attempts the former FTX made to hide the conduct.

Sam Bankman-Fried's trial is scheduled to start on October 2, 2023. In January, he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The former crypto mogul faces up to 115 years in prison if convicted.

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