Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX.com and Alameda Research, is facing a major setback in his legal defense as Judge Lewis Kaplan denied his motion to dismiss or sever most of the charges in his thirteen-count criminal indictment.
Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, stands accused of perpetrating an alleged multi-billion-dollar fraud in his operation of cryptocurrency ventures.
The charges against SBF, which emerged after his extradition from The Bahamas, included those added post-extradition, have been upheld by Judge Kaplan.
Judge Kaplan held that SBF's arguments that the charges violated the "rule of specialty" lacked standing, and given that The Bahamas has not raised objections against the new charges, they will not be dismissed.
However, Judge Kaplan mentioned this decision is without prejudice and could be revisited if The Bahamas was to object in the future.Furthermore, the request to sever count 12, related to unlawful campaign contributions, was denied as well. SBF's arguments that this charge was not connected or part of a common scheme with the other charges, or that it would unduly prejudice the trial, were rejected by Judge Kaplan.
Kaplan also dismissed SBF's claim that in ten of the thirteen charges, the government failed to state an offense, stating that dismissal at this stage would be "an 'extraordinary remedy' reserved only for extremely limited circumstances implicating fundamental rights."
Bankman-Fried is facing charges based on allegations that he stole customer deposits from his cryptocurrency exchange, misusing billions in these funds for personal enrichment, speculative investments, and charitable donations.