FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is seeking to have up to 10 criminal charges against him dismissed in court, months ahead of his scheduled criminal trial in October.
In court documents filed in the Southern District Court in New York on May 8, SBF’s legal team pushed to dismiss everything apart from three counts of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Sam Bankman-Fried has filed motions to dismiss all but three charges in the criminal case against him.
The charges he is not contesting atm are:
5. Conspiracy to commit commodities fraud
6. Conspiracy to commit securities fraud
11. Conspiracy to commit money laundering pic.twitter.com/0Dk1zxEw4j
— Molly White (@molly0xFFF) May 9, 2023
Commenting on the move, crypto researcher Molly White suggested that “at least part of it seems to come down to the fact that additional charges were added after SBF’s extradition agreement was made.”
SBF was initially extradited to the U.S. from the Bahamas to face eight criminal charges of alleged fraud and money laundering; however, his legal team is arguing that the four of the five additional charges that were since been added from February “violates the Treaty’s rule of specialty provision.”
Under the “rule of specialty,” the requesting state (the U.S.) is generally bound to trial the extradited offender (SBF) only for the offense for which they were extradited.
“During the extradition proceedings in The Bahamas, it was the understanding of all parties in court, coram judice¸ and the Court itself, that the specialty provisions applied notwithstanding the use of the simplified procedure. There was no waiver of the rule of specialty. To the contrary, there was an express acknowledgment that it applied,” the lawyers argued.
SBF arriving to court to be arraigned on 5 new charges since his original indictment. Hearing starts at 11a pic.twitter.com/x8HBsWVbFv
— Dawn Giel (@DawnGiel) March 30, 2023
These four charges include conspiracy to commit bank fraud and other individual wire fraud charges related to his alleged actions at FTX and Alameda. The most recent charge added, on March 28, concerns the alleged $40 million bribery of a Chinese government official.
Aside from this, SBF’s lawyers are also seeking to dismiss other charges relating to “conspiracy to defraud the United States” and charges relating to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, arguing there has been a failure to state an adequate offense in these counts.
According to his legal team, the initial indictment sent via a Diplomatic Note fails to properly “specify the violation” relating to campaign financing laws, and it also doesn’t “reference any U.S. bank accounts, including any bank accounts affiliated with FTX or Alameda” relating to the wire fraud charges.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan will hear arguments on June 15 on this dismissal request, and prosecutors will have until May 29 to respond.
Related: FTX bankruptcy judge approves sale of LedgerX
Despite the rest of SBF’s inner circle all pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors, the man himself has pleaded not guilty to the charges laid against him.
SBF has been on house arrest in his parent’s home in Paolo Alto since December. Recently Judge Kaplan approved taps on SBF’s parents’ phones as a way of meeting bail conditions, despite SBF’s legal team requesting a revision.
Magzine: Best and worst countries for crypto taxes — Plus crypto tax tips
Update (May 9, 4:14 am UTC): This article has been updated to include more information about which counts the lawyers are seeking to dismiss and the arguments behind the motion.