A federal judge overseeing the criminal trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has rejected his pretrial motions to dismiss the criminal charges against him.
In a 41-page memorandum, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York explained his reasoning for denying the motions, stating that Bankman-Fried did not meet the “extraordinary” circumstances required for dismissal.
Bankman-Fried is facing a range of charges, including wire fraud, bank fraud, operating an unlicensed money transmitter, bribery, and campaign finance violations.
Last month, he filed seven pretrial motions seeking to dismiss the majority of these charges. However, after a recent court hearing, Judge Kaplan denied the final three motions, ultimately refusing to dismiss the bank fraud, money transmitter, campaign finance, bribery, wire fraud, and other fraud charges.
In his memorandum, Judge Kaplan highlighted that dismissal is considered an “extreme sanction” and should be reserved for truly exceptional cases, particularly those involving serious criminal conduct.
He emphasized that the Second Circuit has upheld dismissal only in very limited and extreme circumstances. The judge addressed questions regarding venue and the validity of property right claims raised by the prosecutors in their fraud charges.
Previously, Judge Kaplan allowed Bankman-Fried and the prosecutors to sever five of the original 13 charges against the former FTX CEO. The trial date for these severed charges has been set for March 2024.
Bankman-Fried argued that the consent of the Bahamas was required for charges brought post-extradition, a contention supported by a Bahamas court prior to the recent hearing.
However, Judge Kaplan noted that the Bahamas had not objected to any of the charges so far, but indicated that a renewed motion could be filed if this changes.