Former CEO of crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has asked a judge in the U.S. to dismiss several charges against him filed after his extradition from the Bahamas. His lawyers insist that prosecutors have not obtained consent from Bahamian authorities for the additional counts.
FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Urges Court to Drop Post-Extradition Charges
Attorneys representing Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), co-founder and ex-chief executive of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, have filed a series of motions in Manhattan federal court on Monday, requesting the dismissal of a number of criminal charges against him.
The lawyers say the charges filed after his extradition to the United States are invalid because prosecutors did not get proper consent from the Bahamian government, Bloomberg reported. They are asking U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan to drop them.
The 31-year-old crypto entrepreneur was accused of running a multibillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors through what was one of the world’s largest crypto trading platforms before it filed for bankruptcy protection amid liquidity issues in November 2022.
U.S. authorities also allege that SBF misused customer funds, including to buy property and increase trading through his crypto hedge fund Alameda Research. About a month after the Chapter 11 filing, he was arrested in the Bahamian capital, Nassau, where he had been residing.
Sam Bankman-Fried consented to simplified extradition to the United States. His lawyers argue that he still retained his rights under extradition law, insisting he could not be tried on charges beyond those to which he agreed to be extradited for, stating:
Mr. Bankman-Fried consented to be tried only on the charges in the original indictment for which the government of the Bahamas agreed to extradition.
Since his arrival in the United States, prosecutors have filed two superseding indictments in the case that brought the total number of charges to over a dozen. Among them are a campaign finance law violation charge and several other counts of fraud.
“After Mr. Bankman-Fried returned to this country, the government superseded the original indictment, not once but twice, improperly adding several new, unrelated charges without first obtaining the express consent of the Bahamian government,” his lawyers elaborated. Although, according to court documents, U.S. prosecutors have notified Bahamian authorities before unsealing these indictments.
SBF has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is expected to face trial in October. His lawyers are also trying to compel the new management of FTX to turn over certain documents to him. They accused the company’s new CEO, John Jay Ray, of acting as “a public mouthpiece for the government by continuing to make disparaging remarks” about Sam Bankman-Fried.
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