Former FTX chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried, who is facing fraud charges over the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, walks outside Manhattan federal court in New York City, US, on March 30, 2023.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Amanda Perobelli | reuters
Prosecutors in the criminal trial against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried compared one of the defense’s arguments to a scene from the 1994 film “Dumb and Dumber,” in which actor Jim Carrey says that IOUs are “as good as money.” Are.”
In a written brief Thursday to Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is presiding over the Manhattan trial, assistant U.S. attorneys for the Southern District of New York took issue with several jury instructions provided by the defense team.
One specific instruction reminded prosecutors of the 29-year-old comedy about two not-so-intelligent friends (played by Carrey and Jeff Daniels) who take a cross-country trip to Colorado to return a briefcase full of money to its owner. Do, although the cash was actually left as ransom.
“If you find that FTX clients, after depositing funds with FTX, received credits to conduct transactions on the FTX exchange and therefore received the right to withdraw equivalent amounts upon subsequent request, then that is insufficient to establish that That they were deprived of property, the defense’s jury instructions stated.
Much of the government’s case hinges on billions of dollars that FTX, Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange, withdrew from customer accounts and used to cover the losses of fellow hedge fund Alameda Research after a massive decline in cryptocurrency prices. . The money was also reportedly spent to pay for things like a $35 million property in the Bahamas and political donations.
Customers were ultimately unable to get most of their money back as FTX and Alameda were being destroyed simultaneously.
The defense, according to prosecutors, is trying to claim to the jury that customers still have credit for the money they deposited, even if the money wasn’t there because it was being used for other things. Was. Prosecutors say this argument is “ignorant of the facts of the case” and that “the credit for receiving funds at a later date, if such funds are ultimately available, is clearly not the same or as valuable as the money or property itself.” “
In a footnote, the prosecution writes, “A popular movie from the 1990s illustrates this point: A briefcase, once filled with money, is not the same as a briefcase later filled with IOUs.” In “Dumb and Dumber”, when the briefcase reaches its owner, it is full of paper.
“It’s as good as money, sir,” says Carrey, playing Lloyd Christmas.
actor jim carrey
Filippo Monteforte | AFP | getty images
Bankman-Fried’s lead defense attorney, Mark Cohen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bankman-Fried, 31, faces seven criminal fraud charges related to the collapse of his crypto empire late last year. Bankman-Freed, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to life in prison if convicted.
The first three weeks of the trial have been highlighted by testimony from former close friends of Bankman-Fried, who were also top executives at FTX and Alameda and have since struck down through plea deals with the government. The trial is scheduled to resume next weekend and extend through November.
On several occasions, Judge Kaplan has called sidebar meetings with prominent government attorneys and Bankman-Fried’s attorneys to discuss their conduct in the courtroom. Most recently, on Thursday, Kaplan attacked attorneys on both sides, specifically telling the prosecution that their latest expert witnesses didn’t know anything specific about key details and yet they said nothing about Bankman-Fried’s behavior. Called criminal. Both sides were warned to do better and communicate more with each other.
— CNBC’s Kate Rooney and Don Gill contributed to this report
Watch: The prosecution in the Sam Bankman-Fried trial is set to end in the coming days.