Judge denies motions to dismiss criminal charges against SBF, citing lack of merits.
Former FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, who lost over $8.7 billion of customers’ digital assets through risky bets, continues to proclaim his innocence in a New York federal court. In the latest updates, SBF’s requests to have the criminal charges against him dismissed before the trial in early October have been denied. SBF’s lawyers argue that most of the charges, including fraud, bank fraud, operating an unlicensed money transmitter, bribery, and campaign finance charges, should be dismissed since the indictment does not allege any economic loss to FTX customers.
However, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York believes that 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 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 true state of the company to financial institutions in order to obtain more funding, the Judge argued that the charges against him should proceed to trial. Moreover, the Judge noted that the Bahamian judicial system was aware of the charges even after approving the indictment request.
SBF Faces Challenging Times Ahead
The former crypto billionaire faces the possibility of serving jail time in the United States if the court finds him guilty of the charges. Notably, SBF’s lawyers will face challenges as former allies, including Carolyn Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, a co-founder of FTX, have all pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to cooperate with US prosecutors.
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It is worth noting that the US prosecutors have promised Ellison and Gary a reduction in their sentences if they fully cooperate in the FTX and SBF investigations.
Furthermore, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has demonstrated its commitment to combating crypto-related crimes. Additionally, New York Attorney General Letitia James has brought charges against several crypto firms, including CoinEX, and has recovered millions of dollars from unregulated entities. According to AG Letitia, unregistered crypto platforms pose a significant risk to investors, consumers, and the economic system.
As a result, SBF will have to present compelling arguments to the judge and jury to prove his innocence against the charges brought against him.