Sam Bankman-Fried fraud defense dismissed as 'irrelevant'.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken a new step in its ongoing case against Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), characterizing his proposed defense against fraud allegations as lacking significance without additional specifics.
Legal representatives from the DOJ submitted a fresh document to the court on August 29th, contending that SBF, also known as "SBF," needs to provide more detailed information to support his defense strategy.
The court document declared that the current argument presented by SBF, which suggests that his legal team at the time approved of his alleged fraudulent actions while he was with FTX, is not relevant. The DOJ's submission requests the court to instruct the defendant to obtain "further notice" and engage in "pretrial discovery."
The document stated, "Unless the defendant provides additional disclosures, the court should exclude irrelevant, confusing, and prejudicial questioning, evidence, and arguments regarding attorney involvement."
Earlier, SBF's legal team argued that the legal advisors from FTX guided him in acting in good faith, and that the reliance on legal counsel is pertinent to the matter of intent.
The previous legal team associated with FTX faced a lawsuit on August 7th, which claimed that they established opaque entities that facilitated executives in carrying out "creative yet illegal strategies" to perpetrate fraud.
Attorney Damian Williams, who authored the recent court communication, contended that Bankman-Fried must specify the legal advice he received, or reconsider his defense strategy.
The DOJ noted that the defendant has not furnished a comprehensive list of the topics involving attorney participation. Additionally, SBF has not outlined "the extent of attorney involvement" or the bases and details of his defense. The submission also pointed out the lack of supporting documents that either uphold or challenge his defense.
The day after the submission, on August 30th, SBF's lawyer Mark Cohen responded to the DOJ's filing, countering that they have already provided sufficient disclosures concerning the defense. Cohen also highlighted that his client's conditions in detention violate the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Cohen argued, "Currently, the defense is unable to adequately prepare for the trial and construct the defense, which violates Mr. Bankman-Fried's Sixth Amendment rights." He also criticized the inadequate internet connection available. On August 23rd, the court ruled that SBF could meet with his legal team outside of detention with a 48-hour notice.
In response, on August 25th, SBF's legal team pushed for temporary release and opposed the previously mentioned arrangement.
SBF has previously pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of fraud following the collapse of FTX in November 2022.