Sam Bankman Fried, the founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, urged a U.S. district court in Manhattan to dismiss charges against him, alleging his former company painted him as "the villain."
"Since November 2022, FTX debtors have been working hand-in-glove with the government to investigate and prosecute Mr. Bankman-Fried," the lawyers for Bankman-Fried wrote in a court filing Monday.
The collusion stretched further, according to the lawyers, as the government has "effectively deputized Mr. Ray [the new CEO of FTX], the FTX debtors, and their counsel as federal agents" who are interpreting the evidence to help the prosecutors come up with strategies for criminal charges to apply to Bankman-Fried's case.
"A few days before FTX declared bankruptcy on November 11, 2022, and while FTX was trying to raise money to make all customers whole, FTX’s legal advisors went to the government to accuse Mr. Bankman-Fried behind his back without knowing the full facts, and ultimately forced him to step down as CEO," the lawyers wrote in the filing.
Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas on Dec 12. on request by the U.S. government, a day before he was scheduled to appear before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to answer questions regarding the collapse of FTX.
He was released on $250 million bail—believed to be the biggest pretrial bail in U.S. history—and placed under house arrest later that month. Under the terms, Bankman-Fried is confined to his parents’ home in Palo Alto, Calif, is not allowed to use a smartphone, and has limited access to the internet.
Bankman-Fried is charged with misappropriating billions of dollars of funds in FTX customer money, along with additional charges of money laundering, conspiring to commit securities, commodities and wire fraud, and overseeing an illegal campaign financing scheme.
If convicted, he could spend decades in a federal prison. Bankman-Fried and his lawyers are prepared to go to trial in Manhattan as early as October.