US authorities have begun investigating if the founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, had involvement in the implosion of the Terra ecosystem.

US Prosecutors Claim Charges Against SBF Are Valid

  • US prosecutors dismissed Bankman-Fried’s claims as meritless.
  • Bankman-Fried cited procedural irregularities in his demand for a dismissal of the charges.
  • Legal experts believe it will be difficult for the charges against Bankman-Fried to be dropped.

In court filings from Monday, US prosecutors maintained their claims that the criminal charges against Sam Bankman-Fried, including questions about his extradition back to the United States and campaign financing offenses, are valid. The 31-year-old FTX founder and former cryptocurrency billionaire has pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of conspiracy, fraud, foreign bribery, and violating campaign finance laws.

Earlier this month, Bankman-Fried’s defense asked U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan to dismiss most of the counts, claiming that prosecutors charged him in a “rush to judgment” after a series of disasters in the crypto market that saw the collapse of several top crypto companies, including his own companies FTX and Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers demanded the dismissal of the charges against him, citing procedural irregularities, and the scope of U.S. laws since FTX operates outside of the US. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers further claimed the charges filed by US prosecutors had gone beyond the limits of the extradition agreement.

Prosecutors labeled Bankman-Fried’s claims “meritless.” Responding to Bankman-Fried’s argument that the Bahamas must approve any charges prior to extradition, US prosecutors argued that the extradition agreement with the Bahamas allows post-extradition charges with the permission of the extraditing country.

Prosecutors wrote,

The indictment sufficiently alleges that the defendant and his co-conspirators made false and misleading representations to lenders relating to Alameda’s financial condition. No more specificity is required.

Bankman-Fried faces multiple charges, one of which accuses the former FTX CEO of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by offering $40 million to Chinese officials in exchange for their cooperation in unfreezing accounts. Bankman-Fried previously admitted that FTX had inadequate risk management systems but denied stealing funds as claimed.

Legal professionals believe that Bankman-Fried has little chance of having the charges dropped because the prosecution can show that his clients actually lost money. Prior to FTX’s collapse, Bankman-Fried had a solid reputation as one of the crypto billionaires and philanthropic donors.

However, his fortune and reputation crashed last November after FTX filed for bankruptcy protection and news emerged of the poor management structures at the exchange. He was later extradited to the US from the Bahamas and has remained under house arrest at his parents’ Palo Alto, California, home under a $250 million bond.

Lawrence Woriji
Lawrence Woriji Verified Author

I have covered some exciting stories in my career as a journalist and find blockchain-related stories very intriguing. I believe Web3 will change the world and want everyone to be a part of it.

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