- The Department of Justice (DOJ) asserts that the lack of tailored crypto regulation doesn’t affect criminal charges against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
- The DOJ argues that existing legal framework is sufficient to prohibit theft and misuse of customer assets, irrespective of crypto involvement.
- Bankman-Fried’s legal team claims that the unclear regulatory landscape for exchanges lessens his culpability.
The Department of Justice asserts that the lack of tailored crypto regulation is irrelevant to pressing criminal charges against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried for alleged fraud and misappropriation.
In a new court filing, the DOJ contends that the current legal framework sufficiently prohibits theft and misuse of customer assets, regardless of whether the victims are crypto traders. Prosecutors say the absence of specific crypto laws does not exonerate such misconduct.
Prosecutors maintain existing laws suffice for customer fund theft charges
This rebuke comes as Bankman-Fried’s legal team argues the opaque regulatory landscape for exchanges diminishes his culpability. The DOJ counters that this claim only holds water if SBF believed his contested actions were legal at the time.
The dismissal reiterates the DOJ’s stance that existing statutes cover crypto-related financial crimes, even as the industry presses lawmakers for tailored regulation. Prosecutors appear unwilling to let legal gray areas impede their pursuit of justice for FTX victims.
However, the government acknowledged it cannot directly prosecute Bankman-Fried for alleged straw donor election law violations due to the limits of the extradition arrangement. Instead, prosecutors will present such conduct as evidence that he deceived customers.
While the trial will highlight crypto’s pervasive regulatory gaps, the DOJ maintains that does not excuse lawbreaking under established rules. Crypto proponents hope the high-profile case ultimately catalyzes reform, but prosecutors insist progress shouldn’t obstruct accountability.