New documents reveal prosecutors in Sam Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial are opposing his bid to use arguments about the US regulatory framework to combat his charges.
In a new court filing, the government says the former FTX chief executive should not be able to argue that he’s innocent because FTX was “not regulated in the United States and he followed the rules with respect to FTX US.”
“The Government previously moved to preclude such [an] argument as irrelevant, and more prejudicial and confusing than probative under Federal Rule of Evidence 403. The defendant opposed the motion.”
According to the defendant, the laws – or absence of them – are relevant because they would establish whether he technically misappropriated funds or not.
Bankman-Fried suggests there aren’t any specific laws that prohibit crypto exchanges from using customer-deposited funds for their own purposes.
But prosecutors say Bankman-Fried’s argument is ultimately irrelevant, and could confuse the jury.
“The defendant first argues that the existence of laws or regulations prohibiting the use of funds is relevant to whether ‘the funds were in fact misappropriated.’ To prove misappropriation, the government must establish that the defendant fraudulently appropriated for his own use the money ‘entrusted to [his] care by another.’
While the existence of a law might be relevant to establish a statutory duty of care, the absence of regulation is not relevant to whether money was, in fact, entrusted to the defendant’s care by his victims. [Any] evidence or argument about the absence of regulation is only likely to confuse the jury into believing that there must be a regulation imposing a duty for misappropriation to have occurred…
Additionally, the Government alleges that the defendant not just misappropriated customer money, but made material misrepresentations to customers. The putative ‘absence of clearly applicable laws or regulations’ is irrelevant to whether the defendant made material misstatements or omissions.”
Bankman-Fried’s trial is entering its second day. He faces several decades behind bars.Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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