SBF will have to issue arguments beyond doubt to the judge and jury why he is not guilty of the charges levied against him.
Former FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried alias SBF who squandered over $8.7 billion of customers’ digital assets with risky bets continues to fight for his innocence in a New York federal court of law. In the latest updates, SBF has been denied all the requests to have the criminal charges filed against him dismissed before the trial session in early October this year. According to the SBF lawyers, the court ought to dismiss most of the charges – including fraud, bank fraud, operating an unlicensed money transmitter, bribery, and campaign finance charges – since the indictment does not allege any economic loss to the FTX customers.
However, Judge Lewis Kaplan, of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, thinks the dismissal of the criminal charges lacks merit as it is only reserved for extreme circumstances. In the memorandum opinion, Judge Kaplan noted that SBF misappropriated the FTX customers’ funds by issuing risky loans to sister firm Alameda Research.
“The Second Circuit has deemed dismissal an ‘extreme sanction’ that has been upheld ‘only in very limited and extreme circumstances’, and should be ‘reserved for the truly extreme cases’, ‘especially where serious criminal conduct is involved’,” the judge indicated.
With SBF accused of obscuring the real state of the company to financial institutions to obtain more funding, the Judge argued that the charges against him stand trial. Moreover, the Judge noted that the Bahamian judicial system knew of the charges even after approving the indictment request.
SBF Faces Challenging Times Ahead
The former crypto billionaire faces punitive jail time in the United States if the court finds him guilty of the charges filed against him. Notably, SBF lawyers will have a challenging time-fighting former allies – including Carolyn Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, a co-founder of FTX – who have all pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to work together with the United States prosecutors.
Notably, the United States prosecutors promised Ellison and Gary a reduction in their sentences if they agreed to fully cooperate in the FTX and SBF investigations.
Already, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shown its commitment to fighting crypto-related crimes. Additionally, New York Attorney General Letitia James has charged several crypto firms including CoinEX, and recovered millions of dollars from unregulated entries. According to AG Letitia, unregistered crypto platforms pose a significant risk to investors, consumers, and the economic fabric system.
As a result, SBF will have to issue arguments beyond doubt to the judge and jury why he is not guilty of the charges levied against him.