Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), who previously served as CEO and co-founder of FTX, is seeking to have most of the criminal charges against him dropped by federal prosecutors prior to his trial.
In a last-minute legal move, SBF’s defense team filed seven motions to dismiss charges on the grounds that they are either duplicative or violate the terms under which he was extradited from the Bahamas to the U.S.
Double jeopardy defense filed by Bankman-Fried’s lawyers
SBF’s defense team is doubling down on their argument that if he were convicted on any of two pairs of charges, it would be a violation of his right against “double jeopardy.”
The former FTX CEO faces numerous charges, including conspiring to commit bank fraud and wire fraud against FTX customers, conspiring to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, and conspiring to commit commodities fraud against FTX customers.
FTX’s practices standard in crypto industry, per SBF’s lawyers
Interestingly, SBF’s team also claimed that FTX’s practices were “standard” in the crypto industry and that the company’s failure was due to a “crypto winter” rather than any wrongdoing.
The legal team even drew parallels between FTX’s collapse and the 2008 global financial crisis, suggesting that every major participant in the crypto industry had “cratered.”
SBF has plead not guilty to 12 charges, including fraud, bank fraud, and bribery of Chinese officials, among others. A guilty verdict could lead to over a century of jail time. However, SBF is out on bail, which he secured with $250 million bond.
FTX customers given hope with Japanese unit reopening
Meanwhile, FTX’s Japanese unit is offering some hope for customers with its reopening. The exchange has allowed customers to withdraw their funds, marking the beginning of a long recovery process.
To aid in the return of funds to customers, FTX has sold the LedgerX platform to Miami International Holdings for $50 million, albeit at a steep loss. FTX needs all the assets and funds it can get to repay customers.