Sam Bankman-Fried lawyers pitch for changes to judge’s jury instruction


Attorneys representing former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have written another letter to the presiding judge, seeking changes to the jury instructions. In the letter addressed to Judge Lewis Kaplan, the defense attorneys requested that the jury consider the role of English law in governing FTX’s terms of service.

The proposal calls on the 12 jurors in the case to consider that for misappropriation to have occurred, there must have existed a trust, fiduciary relationship or a similar relationship between FTX and its customers. However, the firm’s terms of service have clarified that there was no relationship between the two parties.

The defense attorneys’ proposal read:

“Under English law, the Terms of Service do not create a trust relationship or similar fiduciary relationship between FTX and its customers. Nor, under English law, do any representations made after a customer agreed to the Terms of Service create a trust relationship or similar fiduciary relationship.“ 

They added, “If a person subjectively expected, understood or believed that a trust, fiduciary relationship, or similar relationship existed, does not create such a relationship.“

The defense team cited several examples of other cases from the United Kingdom in a last bid for a not-guilty verdict for their client.

Related: Michael Lewis’ new book puts a positive spin on Sam Bankman-Fried

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys have made several requests to the judge throughout the course of the case, including numerous requests for early bail before the trial, citing a lack of adequate amenities to prepare. However, most requests have been declined.

The former FTX CEO is currently facing multiple charges of fraud and misappropriation of customer funds to finance his personal expenses. Bankman-Fried, throughout his trial, has denied misuse of funds and claimed he hasn’t defrauded his customers. In the past, Bankman-Fried was also accused of witness tampering.

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