Saturday, February 24, 2024

The federal judge overseeing FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial denied his pretrial motions to dismiss criminal charges against him, nearly two weeks after denying some of the motions already.

Bankman-Fried, who faces wire fraud, bank fraud, operating an unlicensed money transmitter, bribery and campaign finance charges, filed to dismiss the bulk of these charges last month across seven pretrial motions. After a court hearing earlier this month, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the last three of those motions.

On Tuesday, he denied Bankman-Fried’s motions to dismiss the bank fraud, money transmitter, campaign finance, bribery, wire fraud and other fraud charges.

The judge’s 41-page memorandum details his reasoning for rejecting the four remaining pretrial motions to dismiss, addressing questions of venue and whether prosecutors have alleged valid property right claims in bringing fraud charges.

“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 wrote.

Judge Kaplan had previously allowed Bankman-Fried and prosecutors to sever five of the 13 charges brought against the onetime FTX CEO, setting a March 2024 trial date for those charges.

Bankman-Fried argued that the Bahamas had to consent to charges brought post-extradition, an argument a Bahamas court agreed to prior to this month’s hearing.

However, prosecutors are now set for an Oct. 2, 2023 trial date on the first eight charges they brought against Bankman-Fried.

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