According to his lawyers, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX, may need more time to prepare his defense.
FTX’s criminal trial is scheduled for Oct. 2. It centers on allegations of fraud by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
However, in a letter to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan on March 8, Bankman-attorneys Fried’s stated that they were still waiting for a substantial portion of evidence to be turned over, despite additional charges being filed against the FTX founder in late February.
Bankman-attorneys Fried’s claimed that the DOJ prosecutors had evidence from devices held by Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of FTX’s sister company Alameda Research, and Zixiao “Gary” Wang, a co-founder of FTX. Both Wang and Ellison have admitted guilt to allegations of fraud and are working with the DOJ.
In addition, the attorneys stated that they were awaiting information from “computers belonging to two more former FTX/Alameda employees” and that they expected the information to be “voluminous and crucially important to the defense.”
The superseded indictment against Bankman-Fried, unsealed on Feb. 22, included four new conspiracy and fraud charges in addition to the eight charges originally filed against him in December 2022. Bankman-Fried had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him.
Bankman-Fried is still under house arrest at his parent’s home in California after being released on a $250 million bond. His bail conditions had previously been reviewed after it was discovered that he had used a VPN to access the internet.
In January, FTX’s legal team charged $38 million
In related news, FTX’s in-house attorneys and accountants charged an astounding $38 million for their services in January alone. The invoices belong to a group of hundreds of attorneys, consultants, paralegals, and accountants, according to court filings. Following a billing of 14,569 hours of work for $16.8 million in January, FTX administrators hired the legal firm Sullivan & Cromwell as counsel.
Finally, this week, FTX sued crypto fund manager Grayscale in an attempt to recover up to $9 billion from its bitcoin and Ethereum trusts. The outcome of this lawsuit is unknown.