According to Bloomberg Law Reportin the upcoming fraud trial FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried plans to call seven expert witnesses to testify on his behalf in October, possibly paid $1,200 an hour.
The witnesses will testify about campaign finance laws, the valuation of FTX and its affiliate Alameda Research, and the cryptocurrency exchange’s software infrastructure and terms of service, according to a letter filed in Manhattan federal court.
The move sheds light on Bankman-Fried’s defense strategy against charges of orchestrating a multibillion-dollar fraud.
FTX Co-Founder’s Defense Takes Shape
Prosecutors have put a group of Bankman-Fried’s former friends and associates on the ready, according to a Bloomberg Law report. testify against him.However, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan found that there were indications witness tampering Twice.
Bankman-Fried, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, has not yet reached out to Bloomberg for comment through a spokesman.
Notably, federal prosecutors sought to prevent expert witnesses from appearing in court, arguing that their testimony would only focus on Bankman-Fried’s alleged lack of criminal knowledge or intent to speak to others.
The exchange of letters between the prosecution and Bankman-Fried’s defense team also discussed the conditions of his detention, the disclosure of evidence and internet access, among other issues.
While the defense sought to exclude discovery material obtained after July 1, the judge rejected the request, saying allegations of broken promises and missed deadlines were inaccurate.
As Bankman-Fried’s attorneys sought more access to their clients, they also hired expert witnesses to bolster his defense.
Former Federal Election Commission chair Bradley Smith, who charges $1,200 an hour, will offer insight on U.S. campaign finance law and straw donors.
Additional witnesses charge between $400 and $1,100 an hour, financial services industry consultant Peter Vinella gives his opinion on widely accepted practices in the financial services industry, and Professor Andrew Di Wu discusses blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency market crash.
The Bankman-Fried defense could also employ the following proposal: lawyer defense, arguing that he acted on the instructions of FTX lawyers. Three of Bankman-Fried’s closest associates have pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to cooperate with the government.
The allegations against Bankman-Fried relate to the commingling of client funds, misappropriation of foreign exchange funds to provide loans to executives, purchases of real estate, and high-risk transactions that allegedly contributed to the November 2022 collapse of FTX.
As the trial draws closer, the advice of expert witnesses and defense attorneys will play a vital role in determining the outcome of the case. The battle between the prosecution and the defense has intensified as both sides struggle to present convincing evidence and arguments in court.
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