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

U.S. Criminal Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried Don’t Warrant Dismissal – In early May, pre-trial motions were filed by the lawyers representing the disgraced FTX executive, aiming to have most of the charges against him dismissed based on technicalities or procedural matters.

However, prosecutors argued in court filings on Monday that the criminal charges, including issues surrounding Bankman-Fried’s extradition and campaign finance violations, are indeed valid. 

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It should be noted that the motions filed by Bankman-Fried’s defense did not seek the dismissal of securities fraud and money laundering charges and instead focused on procedural issues, the applicability of certain U.S. laws due to FTX’s non-U.S. location, and the alleged violation of agreed extradition terms.

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Prosecutors responded to Bankman-Fried’s claim that the Bahamas must approve charges before extradition by asserting that the extradition treaty with the Bahamas permits the presentation of charges after extradition, with the consent of the country extraditing the individual.

They argued that the inclusion of new charges in subsequent indictments after extradition does not contravene this provision.  Among these charges, one was filed in March, accusing the former executive of breaching the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for allegedly offering $40 million to undisclosed Chinese officials in exchange for the release of frozen accounts.

Despite Bankman-Fried’s claim that the accusations of commodity fraud are invalid due to extraterritorial enforcement, U.S. prosecutors countered by asserting that the allegations should stand based on the impact of FTX’s trading activities on crypto markets within the United States.

Regarding the allegations of violating campaign finance laws, which revolve around Bankman-Fried making donations in the names of FTX executives, prosecutors argued that his arguments lack merit because the indictment provides explicit details on how he attempted to conceal the source of funds for these donations. 

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The court filing also highlights the defense’s request for additional discovery documents, contending that the FTX estate should be considered as part of the “prosecution team” due to its cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice. Bankman-Fried is scheduled to appear in a New York court in October.

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