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DOJ Pushes to Exclude FTX Founder’s Experts in Forthcoming Trial: A Battle of Witnesses

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  • The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) contends that all of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s proposed expert witnesses should be disqualified due to issues ranging from insufficient disclosures to irrelevance.
  • The defense team has also sought to bar one of the prosecution’s witnesses, arguing that the expert’s proposed testimony may not be permissible under legal rules.

The DOJ and Defense Lay Down Their Witness Cards

As the trial for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried draws near, a legal battle of wits is unfurling around the credibility and relevance of expert witnesses proposed by both sides. Recent filings indicate that the Department of Justice (DOJ) aims to nullify all seven of the defense’s proposed expert witnesses. Simultaneously, Bankman-Fried’s defense team is seeking to exclude a financial analysis expert presented by the prosecution.

The DOJ’s Arguments Against the Defense’s Witnesses

In the field of legal procedure, “Daubert motions” are requests for a judge to disallow the testimony of an expert witness, typically on the grounds of qualification or relevance. Here, the DOJ argues that some of the proposed expert witnesses on the defense side did not provide adequate disclosures about their testimony. Others, according to the DOJ, present “inappropriate subjects for expert testimony” or could be confusing for the jury.

For instance, Lawrence Akka, a British barrister, is criticized by the DOJ for focusing on a single example in defining “trust” under law, a role conventionally reserved for the judge. Data analytics and forensics expert Brian Kim, along with consultants Thomas Bishop and Joseph Pimbley, did not provide sufficient details on their proposed topics of testimony, a procedural misstep according to the DOJ.

Similarly, the DOJ claims there is no need for a separate ‘expert’ witness to testify on FTX’s code, citing that their lay witnesses are competent enough to address this issue. Moreover, Peter Vinella and Andrew Di Wu, who are being presented as financial services and blockchain industry experts respectively, allegedly lack “sufficient experience or expertise” or are presenting “improper” or irrelevant testimony.

The Defense Strikes Back

On the flip side, the defense team is pushing to exclude one of the prosecution’s proposed expert witnesses. They claim that Peter Easton, an accountancy professor, lacks a sufficient basis for his testimony. According to the defense’s filing, Easton’s proposed testimony doesn’t offer an expert analysis to assist the jury but merely echoes the government’s allegations.

As the legal groundwork is being laid out, the admissibility of these experts could prove instrumental in the trial’s outcome. With the charges being as serious as fraud and conspiracy, the sparring over witness legitimacy is no mere academic debate but a critical component of the trial’s framework.

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Nikita Dmitrievich
Nikita Dmitrievichhttps://www.ethnews.com/
Nikita, a young and ambitious crypto investor who has been actively involved in the cryptocurrency world for the past 6 years. With a keen interest in blockchain technology, Nikita has been investing in various cryptocurrencies and has seen significant returns on his investments. He is passionate about educating others on the potential of cryptocurrencies and frequently shares his insights on social media platforms. Nikita believes that cryptocurrencies are the future of finance and is constantly researching new projects to invest in. With his dedication and knowledge, Nikita is quickly becoming a prominent figure in the crypto community. Business Email: info@ethnews.com Phone: +49 160 92211628