In a significant development, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled that prosecutors from the United States Department of Justice will be permitted to present the details of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s political donations as evidence in his fraud case.
FTX Founder’s Trial to Commence on October 3
On September 26, a 16-page pretrial order was issued, clarifying the admissibility of evidence for the upcoming fraud trial of the FTX founders, which is set to commence on October 3rd.
As per the report, the prosecution’s request to present evidence related to Bankman-Fried’s purported involvement in the development of the FTX Token (FTT) and his alleged instructions to manipulate the token’s price through Alameda Research and its former CEO, Caroline Ellison, was also approved.
Judge Kaplan’s Ruling
The judge wrote: “The alleged manipulation of the cryptocurrency tokens, which resulted in an alleged manipulation of Alameda’s balance sheet, was an act ‘done in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy’ and therefore is considered ‘part of the very act charged,’” he added:
“Moreover, defendant’s alleged directive to Ms. Ellison to manipulate the price of FTT is direct evidence of their ‘relationship of mutual trust.’ The probative value of this evidence outweighs any risk of unfair prejudice. It is admissible.”
Furthermore, Kaplan rejected the Department of Justice’s requests to prevent the defense from cross-examining witnesses on specific “privileged” matters.
The Collapse of FTX
The recent development at FTX, now under the leadership of CEO John J. Ray III, involves an effort to recover funds dating back to the beginning of the year. In February, the new FTX management set a deadline for political parties and charitable organizations to return donations that had been received from the former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.
In addition, upon learning that SBF and FTX had contributed $70 million to multiple election candidates shortly before filing for bankruptcy, the XRP attorney expressed concerns about the need to reclaim the political contributions made by SBF, asserting that these contributions could be considered fraudulent transactions.