DOJ Asserts U.S. Crypto Laws Irrelevant in Bankman-Fried Case

DOJ Asserts U.S. Crypto Laws Irrelevant in Bankman-Fried Case

Despite the ongoing debate over the U.S. crypto regulatory framework, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has firmly stated that the lack of cryptocurrency laws won’t hinder the criminal charges against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). Their recent motion, filed on Oct. 4, rebukes claims made by SBF’s defense team.

Existing Laws Still Apply, Emphasizes DOJ

The heart of the argument is SBF’s counsel’s assertion that since FTX wasn’t regulated in the U.S., their client shouldn’t be held accountable. Moreover, they stressed that he adhered to regulations for FTX US. However, the DOJ has dismissed this standpoint since they believe the existence or absence of specific legislation doesn’t negate the fundamental legal obligations when it comes to handling customer funds.

While crypto regulations remain a gray area, the DOJ emphasized that existing laws already prohibit the misappropriation of client assets. Hence, any arguments suggesting a regulatory vacuum are rendered irrelevant. 

Besides, they noted that such claims are misleading. Misleading customers and mismanaging their money are actions that stand in violation of these rules. Consequently, SBF now faces charges of wire fraud and mishandling customer funds, among other allegations.

Prosecutors Eye SBF’s Charitable Endeavors

Significantly, as the trial unfolds, both sides are at loggerheads over what evidence the jury should consider. Prosecutors have expressed concerns over SBF, pointing to his charitable endeavors to sway opinions. They have urged the court to ensure that such tactics don’t paint an overly positive portrait of the defendant.

The U.S.’s failure to provide a clear regulatory path for crypto has been a longstanding issue. Federal regulators argue for treating crypto akin to traditional securities trading. However, firms like Ripple, Binance, and Coinbase oppose this view. Additionally, the government clarified its stance on allegations related to SBF’s political donations. 

While they won’t focus on the legality of these actions, they will scrutinize how SBF used funds in ways inconsistent with his claims to customers.

The DOJ’s stance serves as a reminder that regardless of the crypto regulatory landscape, foundational legal principles remain intact. As the FTX-SBF saga continues, the crypto community will watch closely, underscoring the need for clear regulations.

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Kelvin is a distinguished writer specializing in crypto and finance, backed by a Bachelor’s in Actuarial Science. Recognized for incisive analysis and insightful content, he has an adept command of English and excels at thorough research and timely delivery.

The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.


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