FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried sought dismissal of the criminal charges against him in a court filing late Monday, saying prosecutors have wrongfully committed federal crimes from civil and regulatory issues that resulted from an industry-wide collapse of cryptocurrency markets. called «crypto winter».
Lawyers for the former head of a multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange said in documents in Manhattan federal court that the US government had a «dramatic and troubling» response to a broad cryptocurrency market crash last year that hit all the corners of the market.
They said Bankman-Fried’s non-US FTX company lasted much longer than others in the industry before it went bankrupt in November, when the global exchange ran out of money after the equivalent of a bank run. A trial has been tentatively set for the fall.
Prosecutors alleged in December that Bankman-Fried misled investors and looted client deposits at FTX to make lavish real estate purchases, donate money to politicians and conduct risky trades at Alameda Research, his hedge fund trading firm. of cryptocurrencies. US attorney Damian Williams called it one of the biggest frauds in US history.
In March, new charges In addition to the indictment, Bankman-Fried is alleged to have violated the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by ordering the payment of $40 million in bribes to a Chinese official or officials to release $1 billion in cryptocurrency that was frozen at early 2021.
The Bahamian extradition contained eight vague and non-specific charges against Bankman-Fried, her lawyers said Monday.
Additional charges filed later violated an Extradition Treaty between the United States and the Bahamas, they added.
“In the aftermath of the ‘crypto winter,’ the government, in hindsight, may dislike or disapprove of the business practices of the cryptocurrency industry, FTX, or even Mr. Bankman-Fried, but this does not give it license to make them federal crimes.” , Bankman-Fried’s lawyers wrote.
Bankman-Fried, 31, has been living with her parents in Palo Alto, California, under a $250 million bail agreement that has severely limited her ability to communicate online and move money.
In other documents filed Monday, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers sought the dismissal of parts of the indictment on other grounds, including arguing that some charges duplicated others.
They also claimed that FTX debtors had turned into an arm of the government, portraying Bankman-Fried as a villain and providing so much information to prosecutors that defense attorneys have to worry they won’t be able to obtain documents that could help prove Bankman-Fried. . Fried’s innocence.
A message sent to a spokesman for prosecutors was not immediately returned.