- Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejects most of the charges’ dismissal requested by Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX Derivatives Exchange.
- Bankman-Fried’s legal team, who sought to dismiss 10 out of 13 charges against him, now faces charges including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, violation of campaign finance law, among others.
In a pivotal case followed by the cryptocurrency community, former FTX Chief Executive Officer Sam Bankman-Fried has been unsuccessful in his bid to have the majority of charges against him dismissed. Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York turned down the motions put forward by Bankman-Fried’s legal team, indicating that the court deemed “the arguments are either moot or without merit.”
Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX Derivatives Exchange and a notable figure in the crypto realm, was accused of orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar fraud. His legal team filed a motion last month, seeking the dismissal of 10 out of the 13 charges leveled against him. This move would have left the former CEO with only three charges, namely conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
However, the presiding Judge Kaplan deemed the request to dismiss charges like wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and violation of campaign finance law as untenable. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers claimed that the court was hasty in its judgment, but their argument did not sway the judge.
Judge Kaplan cited the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit while elaborating on his decision. Dismissing charges is regarded as an “extraordinary remedy” used only under extremely limited circumstances that implicate fundamental rights. He stressed that the Second Circuit views dismissal as an “extreme sanction,” upheld only in very limited and extreme circumstances, especially in cases involving serious criminal conduct.
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Moreover, Judge Kaplan turned down motions that might have helped Bankman-Fried’s legal team withhold certain information pertinent to the case. As the case stands now, the former FTX CEO faces all the charges brought against him. This includes the eight charges from December 2022, four from earlier this year, and an additional charge for allegedly bribing a Chinese government official.
For those unfamiliar with the crypto industry, FTX is a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange known for its innovative offerings in the market. Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has often been seen as a leading figure in the space. This court decision underscores the gravity of the allegations made against him and his company and has implications for the wider industry.
As the trial date approaches, the crypto industry and its enthusiasts worldwide will undoubtedly watch closely to see how the legal battle unfolds. The case could potentially establish significant precedents concerning regulation and oversight within the fast-evolving digital asset marketplace.
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