SBF’s Lawyers Ask Court to Dismiss 10 Criminal Charges Against Him

Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, have filed pretrial motions to dismiss most criminal charges against their client.

In a Monday filing at the United States Court for the Southern District of New York, SBF’s attorneys moved a motion to dismiss about ten charges out of the thirteen-count indictment unsealed against the CEO in February.

SBF Seeks Dismissal of Criminal Charges

During Bankman-Fried’s scheduled trial this October, he is set to face wire, securities, and commodities fraud allegations and bribery claims all tied to his role in the collapse of his multi-billion dollar crypto empire in November. He was extradited from the Bahamas in December and initially pleaded not guilty to the charges and others in previous indictments.

During the last court hearing, SBF’s attorney Mark Cohen disclosed that he would file a motion challenging the new charges brought against his client upon his extradition from the Bahamas. Cohen insisted that the FTX founder be tried only for accusations that he was deported for as the new charges were improperly brought.

In the pretrial motions, Cohen’s team is seeking the dismissal of conspiracy charges to commit wire fraud on FTX customers, Alameda Research lenders, and wire fraud on FTX customers and Alameda Research lenders. They are also requesting that charges about conspiracy to commit bank fraud be dropped on the basis that prosecutors did not “state an offense for failure to allege a valid property right.”

The attorneys also seek a dismissal of the commodities fraud charges because it alleges facts occurring almost entirely outside the US and the unlicensed money transmitting allegations on the basis that FTX was not required to register as a money services business solely for using a US bank account.

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In addition, Bankman-Fried’s attorney asked the court to drop bribery and political donations charges, as they do not properly allege illegal campaign contributions and payments to Chinese officials.

Cohen and his team did not seek the dismissal of charges alleging conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The motion also alleged that FTX collapsed due to the 2022 crypto winter, which affected many major companies and exchanges, leading several to bankruptcy. The team also seeks access to additional discovery documents as FTX “should be considered part of the ‘prosecution team.’”