- DOJ filing seeks the defendant to procure “additional notice” and “pretrial discovery.”
- Prosectors state tech restrictions imposed on SBF are merely “inconveniences” that have not hindered his defense preparation
As the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, draws closer, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has submitted a new court document advocating for more comprehensive disclosures in his defense strategy. The document, filed on August 29, questions the relevance of Bankman-Fried’s current defense stance, which asserts that his legal team at FTX sanctioned his alleged fraudulent actions.
The DOJ’s filing urges the court to demand “additional notice” and “pretrial discovery” from Bankman-Fried, asserting that his proposed argument lacks significance. The Department contends that without enhanced disclosures, any discussion, evidence, or arguments regarding attorney involvement should be considered irrelevant and precluded.
Earlier, Bankman-Fried’s defense had centered on his claims of acting “in good faith” based on the advice of his legal team at FTX, a point the DOJ believes necessitates further clarification.
The legal dispute stems from allegations against Bankman-Fried’s former legal team, accusing them of orchestrating activities through “shadowy entities” to execute fraudulent strategies.
Attorney Damian Williams, author of the recent court letter, emphasizes the necessity for Bankman-Fried to specify the exact legal advice he received or reconsider his defense strategy. The DOJ points out that Bankman-Fried has yet to provide a comprehensive list of topics involving attorney involvement, hindering the understanding of the basis and details of his defense.
In response, Bankman-Fried’s legal representative, Mark Cohen, countered the DOJ’s arguments by stating that the defense has already provided sufficient disclosures. Cohen also raised concerns about potential violations of his client’s constitutional rights due to inadequate preparation time and internet access in jail.
Simultaneously, federal prosecutors challenge Bankman-Fried’s claims that court-ordered accommodations have hindered his defense preparations during his incarceration. They assert that the restrictions are necessary due to alleged “witness tampering,” maintaining that these limitations have not impeded his ability to review evidence against him.
Bankman-Fried, facing numerous fraud charges arising from the collapse of FTX in 2022, maintains his innocence. The collapse triggered allegations of Bankman-Fried engineering one of the most significant financial frauds in US history, involving deceiving investors and misappropriating customer funds for opulent real estate acquisitions and political donations. His trial is slated for October.