Indicted FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried urges court to toss charges
Sam Bankman-Fried, who has long denied stealing from customers of his FTX cryptocurrency exchange, on Monday said prosecutors charged him with “troubling” haste and asked a U.S. judge to throw out 10 of the 13 criminal counts against him.
In a filing in Manhattan federal court, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said now-bankrupt FTX was far from the only cryptocurrency company to collapse during a broad market crash in 2022, and that prosecutors hastily charged their client in a “rush to judgment.”
“Rather than wait for traditional civil and regulatory processes following their ordinary course to address the situation, the Government jumped in with both feet, improperly seeking to turn these civil and regulatory issues into federal crimes,” his lawyers wrote.
Bankman-Fried, a 31-year-old former billionaire, rode a boom in bitcoin and other digital assets to accumulate an estimated net worth of $26 billion, and became an influential political and philanthropic donor before FTX declared bankruptcy in November.
He has pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy.
The exchange imploded after a flurry of customer withdrawals in the wake of reports it had commingled assets with Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s crypto-focused hedge fund.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Bankman-Fried misled FTX investors and lenders, and stole billions of dollars in customer funds to plug losses at Alameda, buy real estate, and make political contributions through an illegal straw-donor scheme. They have also charged him with bribing Chinese officials…