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Another victory for Sam Bankman-Fried as DoJ drops new criminal charges

The DoJ has confirmed that Bankman-Fried will be tried on the original eight charges, rather than 13.

A June 14 court filing reveals that the US Department of Justice will drop the five additional charges against Sam Bankman-Fried in his upcoming criminal trial. 

The document, written by the DoJ to district judge Lewis Kaplan, outlines that the trial will go ahead with the original eight charges, rather than the 13 that stacked up against Bankman-Fried following his extradition. 

The dropped charges include additional fraud allegations, illegal political donations and bribery. The bribery charge accuses Bankman-Fried of paying $40 million in bribes to Chinese officials to unfreeze accounts at Alameda Research. 

Read more: FTX 2.0’ may be underway, legal billing document hints

The decision comes one day after Bankman-Fried won a Bahamian court order temporarily blocking the Bahamian government from consenting to charges that were added to his US indictment after he was extradited to New York. The extradition treaty between the US and Bahamas means that the US can only proceed with additional charges if approved by the Bahamian Attorney General.

Siding with Bankman-Fried, Bahamian Justice Loren Klein stated it would be “procedurally unfair” to deny him the chance to put forth his arguments relating to the new charges. 

Bankman-Fried ran his operations from the Bahamas and maintains that he can only be tried for the charges to which he agreed during the extradition process.

The eight charges remaining against him are still highly serious and include:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud on customers
  • Wire fraud on customers
  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud on lenders
  • Wire fraud on lenders
  • Conspiracy to commit commodities fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit securities fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit money laundering
  • Conspiracy to defraud the United States and violate campaign finance laws

The trial is scheduled to take place in October, but Bankman-Fried will not be required at court.

While the additional proceedings raise the possibility of a delay in his US case, the DoJ stated the decision will “simplify the proof at trial and decrease the burden of trial preparation on the defendant”. 

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