Judge Says Sam Bankman-Fried’s Criminal Charges Will Stay

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  • Sam Bankman-Fried must face all criminal charges brought against him, the judge in his case has ruled
  • The US government’s case against Bankman-Fried has expanded, with additional charges added, including securities fraud and conspiracy to bribe Chinese officials.
  • Bankman-Fried’s defense attempted to dismiss charges not covered by his extradition agreement, but the court denied the request

Sam Bankman-Fried has failed to get the criminal charges against him kicked, meaning he must confront the complete range of criminal charges brought against him by US prosecutors. Judge Lewis Kaplan issued an order on Tuesday which rejected the motions aimed at dismissing 10 out of the 13 charges faced by the former entrepreneur which encompass accusations of campaign finance infractions and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Kaplan also dismissed the arguments asserting that specific charges filed after the 31-year-old’s extradition from the Bahamas in December should be disregarded.

US Government Case Has Expanded

The US government’s case against Bankman-Fried has significantly expanded since he was initially charged with eight counts last year, which included wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, relating to his running of FTX.

In February, prosecutors added four additional criminal charges, including securities and commodities fraud and a month later introduced a new count which alleged that Bankman-Fried conspired to bribe Chinese officials.

Bankman-Fried’s legal team made several arguments in an attempt to dismiss 10 of these charges, claiming that he should only stand trial for the counts specified in his extradition agreement. Earlier this month the US government surprised many by announcing its agreement to separate some of the charges that arose after Bankman-Fried’s extradition for a future trial, a decision that was made due to uncertainties regarding whether the Bahamian government consented to those additional charges.

Judge Kaplan approved this request. While he denied Bankman-Fried’s efforts to dismiss the post-extradition charges on Tuesday, he stated that the defense could renew their argument if the Bahamas objects to any of the charges brought against the former FTX CEO.

FTX Report Constitutes Unfortunate Timing

The ruling comes a day after a report by John Ray, the former Enron administrator who took over as FTX’s CEO after the company filed for bankruptcy, which shed a negative light on the internal operations of the cryptocurrency firm leading up to its dramatic collapse in November.

According to Ray, FTX executives engaged in deceitful practices such as providing false information to banks and auditors, fabricating documents, and constantly shifting the FTX Group across different jurisdictions from the United States to Hong Kong and eventually to the Bahamas. These actions were undertaken in an ongoing effort to facilitate their wrongdoing while evading detection.

Ray further revealed that an attorney representing FTX created a fraudulent intercompany agreement, backdating it by two years, with the intention of misleading external auditors regarding the company’s financial status. The resulting audit, based on this deceptive agreement, was then utilized to attract investments from unsuspecting investors.