Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has asked a court in the United States to throw out the majority of the charges he is facing over the implosion of his crypto empire.
In a pretrial motion filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday, lawyers for Bankman-Fried argued that prosecutors had rushed to judgement in charging their client.
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Bankman-Fried’s lawyers asked the court to dismiss 10 of the 13 charges, which include fraud and money laundering, for reasons including prosecutors’ failure to state an offence.
“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 in the filing.
Bankman-Fried, 31, was feted as one of the world’s youngest billionaires and biggest names in crypto until FTX collapsed amid allegations of massive fraud.
Prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried misused customer funds to plug losses at sister trading house Alameda, buy real estate, and make illegal political contributions. He is also accused of paying a Chinese government official a bribe worth at least $40m to persuade authorities to unfreeze accounts belonging to his hedge fund.
Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and is scheduled to go on trial in New York in October.
Prosecutors have until May 29 to respond to his request for the dismissal of charges.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan is set to hear arguments on June 15.