The creator of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has submitted pretrial motions to dismiss a number of accusations against him, including claims of wire, securities, commodities, bribery, and bank fraud. On a number of reasons, including failure to specify an offense and discovery grounds, Bankman-Fried’s counsel filed a motion to dismiss the charges. The accusations center on Bankman-Fried’s behavior while serving as the former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange domiciled in the Bahamas, which went down in November and filed for bankruptcy along with around 100 other associated companies and subsidiaries. The defense team for Bankman-Fried did not ask for the accusations of conspiracy to conduct securities fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to launder money to be dropped.
During an arraignment, Bankman-Fried’s lead attorney, Mark Cohen, had already made a hint about the motions to dismiss, saying that his client “is not acknowledging that he can be tried” on the charges presented after extradition. Bankman-Fried had entered a “not guilty” plea to additional accusations made in connection with earlier indictments.
Attorneys for Bankman-Fried said that he consented to extradition on the basis of a list of allegations that excluded some of the ones that were subsequently filed against him. They said that the Bahamas must “consent” to the charges filed after extradition in accordance with the extradition treaty between the Bahamas and the United States, and the Bahamas could not assent without further information that has not been supplied.
Additionally, the defense team for Bankman-Fried said that since FTX is headquartered outside of the United States, several of the statutes under which he is being accused do not apply to it and that FTX was not required to register as a money transmitter. On the grounds that FTX ought to be included in the “prosecution team,” according to another filing, and in light of FTX’s cooperation with the Department of Justice, further discovery papers were sought.
The trial is scheduled to begin this autumn, and Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have presented a number of reasons in support of the requests to dismiss.