The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a new document in the court case against Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former CEO of FTX, a crypto exchange that collapsed in November 2022 amid fraud allegations.
DOJ Not Impress by SBF Defence Strategy
The DOJ claims that SBF’s planned defense, which relies on the advice of his former lawyers, is “irrelevant” and requests more details and evidence from the defendant. SBF is accused of multiple counts of fraud, including creating “shadowy entities” to deceive investors and regulators, manipulating the market, and misappropriating funds.
SBF has pleaded not guilty and argued that he acted “in good faith” based on the guidance of his legal team at FTX. He also said that his lawyers approved of his actions and strategies, which he believed were legal and compliant.
However, the DOJ said that this defense is insufficient and vague and that SBF has not provided enough information about the legal advice he received or the involvement of his attorneys. They also said that SBF’s defense could confuse and mislead the jury, and asked the court to order him to disclose more details or to prevent him from using this argument.
The DOJ’s filing comes after SBF’s former lawyers were sued by another group of FTX investors, who alleged that they were part of the fraud scheme and that they set up SBF to take the fall.
Meanwhile, SBF’s current lawyer, Mark Cohen, has complained about the conditions of his client’s detention, saying that they violate his constitutional rights. He said that SBF is unable to prepare for trial adequately and that he has poor internet access.
He also requested a temporary release for his client. However, the court denied this request. The trial is set to begin on September 15, 2023. If found guilty, SBF could face a prison sentence of up to 20 years.