Sam Bankman-Fried Gets Appeal Support In Bahamas To Avoid Additional Crimes
- A court in the Bahamas has temporarily barred the government from agreeing to allow US prosecutors to continue part of their criminal case against Sam Bankman-Fried.
- Last month, federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced they would drop five charges against him for foreign bribery.
- Bankman-Fried has pledged not to all charges and has attempted to refute some of them.
Further charges filed against Sam Bankman-Fried in the United States will be postponed after the Bahamas Supreme Court granted the FTX founder a judicial review of the conditions of his extradition from the Caribbean on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, a Bahamas court temporarily prohibited the country’s government from agreeing to allow US prosecutors to continue part of their criminal case against Bankman-Fried, the accused founder of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
Bankman-Fried has been under legal scrutiny since the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange in November. After initially pursuing his extradition on the basis of wire fraud and money laundering, US prosecutors have requested that additional charges be added, including bank fraud and bribery.
Last month, federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced they would drop five counts against the one-time millionaire for foreign bribery, bank fraud, and conspiracy if the Caribbean island did not agree to them.
The allegations were not included in Bankman- Fried’s first eight-count indictment last December, which centered on the previous month’s collapse of FTX, but were added following his extradition. FTX was headquartered in the Bahamas.
Bankman-Fried has pled not guilty to all allegations and has attempted to dismiss several of them, stating that he should have the ability to file a legal appeal before the Bahamas decides to add further counts to the charge sheet.
“Leave is granted to the claimant to commence proceedings for judicial review,” Bahamas Supreme Court Judge Loren Klein said.
Klein’s remarks support Bankman-Fried’s effort to challenge the Bahamas minister’s and Attorney General’s stance.
“All of the grounds advanced by the claimants disclose arguable claims with a real prospect of success.”
Klein said that the Bahamas government could not add the new crimes until the legal procedure was completed. The Bahamas administration had previously said that agreeing to the US request was only a matter between sovereign governments. Klein also said that the investigation should be completed as soon as possible, but he did not want to pre-empt its results.
The Bahamas Supreme Court ruled that the country’s foreign minister and attorney general could not agree to the additional accusations unless Bankman-Fried was given a formal opportunity to oppose.
The judgment might add to the confusion over whether Bankman-Fried’s planned Oct. 2 trial will include all 13 accusations.
Bankman-Fried’s attorneys said in documents filed late Monday in Manhattan federal court that a sixth accusation alleging U.S. campaign finance crimes should also be dropped since the Bahamas did not agree to it. They want the six accusations dropped or tried separately from the counts of consumer theft and misrepresenting to investors and lenders.
Bankman- Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, said in a subsequent Tuesday filing that he intends to submit an application for judicial review as instructed by the Supreme Court and to continue pursuing his legal rights in The Bahamas.
His attorneys have warned that court proceedings in the Bahamas may take “months or years,” extending the case beyond the scheduled October U.S. trial date or leaving him with little time to prepare a defense to the additional allegations.
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