Latest crypto news: Sam Bankman Fried (SBF) would like to subpoena documents belonging to the old FTX/Alameda law firm to use them in his defense.
Furthermore, we see that the prosecution and the exchange’s debtors already have access to the documents.
Below are all the details.
The dispute over the documents of FTX’s former law firm
As anticipated, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is actively seeking Fenwick & West’s documents through legal action.
As a reminder, Fenwick & West is a law firm that provided outside counsel to FTX, Alameda Research, and SBF from the beginning of their operations until the crypto exchange’s bankruptcy.
As a result, SBF’s legal team now wishes to use these documents as evidence in its favor in a criminal case involving him on 13 charges.
According to a memorandum filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Fenwick & West said it cannot turn over the documents without the permission of FTX‘s debtors.
Indeed, these are already in the hands of FTX’s debtors and the government. Moreover, in at least one case, FTX has waived any claim of attorney-client privilege protection for such documents, the memo states:
“The FTX debtors have given the government full access to its documents, without the need to issue subpoenas, and are so enmeshed in the government’s investigation that they must be considered part of the ‘prosecution team’ for purposes of government discovery obligations.”
What do the documents from the former law firm of crypto exchange FTX contain?
The documents that SBF and his lawyers would like to appeal constitute advice and other content produced by the law firm.
In addition, the requested documents are divided into 11 categories covering “critical topics essential to prepare the defense.”
These include the incorporation of FTX, FTX US and Alameda, the financial and legal connections between those organizations, the incorporation of North Dimension and North Wireless Dimension.
Not only that, they also contain the organizations’ relationships with Silvergate Bank, FTX’s data retention policies, liquidity and margin lending, registration as a money services company, and a number of statements made by the organizations.
Reference is made in the memorandum to Rules 16 and 17 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which cover disclosure of information used by the government in a trial and subpoenas, respectively.
In addition, reference is made to the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court known as the “Brady decision” on disclosure of relevant evidence.
SBF and the attempt to dismiss almost all charges against him
The former CEO of the FTX crypto exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, the company’s founder, is seeking to have up to ten criminal charges against him dropped before his scheduled trial in October.
In papers filed in the Southern District Court of New York on 8 May, in fact, SBF’s legal team asked for the dismissal of all but three charges: conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
SBF was extradited from the Bahamas to the United States to face eight charges of fraud and money laundering. However, his legal team argues that the four additional charges filed since February “violate the Treaty’s specialty rule.”
Under the “rule of specialty,” the requesting state, in this case the United States, is generally obligated to prosecute the extradited defendant (SBF) only for the crime for which he was extradited.
In fact, SBF’s lawyers have argued the following:
“During the extradition proceedings in the Bahamas, it was understood by all parties in the court, coram judice¸ and by the Court itself, that the specialty provisions would apply notwithstanding the use of the simplified procedure. There was no waiver of the specialty rule. On the contrary, there has been express recognition of its application.”
The above four charges include conspiracy to commit bank fraud and other individual wire fraud charges related to his alleged actions at FTX and Alameda.
Finally, the most recent charge, added on 28 March, concerns the alleged $40 million bribery of a Chinese government official.