SBF to subpoena documents from former FTX law firm to fight fraud charges.
Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is attempting to defend himself against fraud charges by requesting documents from the law firm that provided legal counsel for him, Alameda Research and FTX. In a court filing, SBF has requested to subpoena documents from the law firm Fenwick & West, which he believes will assist him in his upcoming court case.
SBF believes that the documents from Fenwick & West can prove that he did not intentionally break any laws. He has requested these documents to prove that all actions taken were based on legal advice from the law firm.
The law firm, Fenwick & West, is not currently opposed to providing the documents. However, in a memorandum submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Fenwick & West stated that providing the documents requires permission from FTX debtors. Unfortunately for SBF, the documents required are already under the purview of these debtors and the authorities.
According to the memorandum, “the FTX Debtors have given the Government full access to its documents, without the need to issue subpoenas, and are so enmeshed in the Government’s investigation that they must be considered part of the ‘prosecution team’ for purposes of the Government’s discovery obligations.”
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Documents SBF Requires from Former Counsel Law Firm Fenwick & West
SBF’s lawyers believe that these documents are critical to the case and could help SBF beat the charges. According to the attorneys, the actions SBF took were based on recommendations and advice from the law firm, which may explain the charges levied against him.
The attorneys say that the documents from the law firm will show that SBF was advised to take specific protective measures, including encrypting or auto-deleting messages, as well as several other possible contraventions of US banking practices. If these documents contain the advice as the attorneys suggest, both SBF and Fenwick & West may suffer consequences. However, many believe that it might be difficult to demonstrate that the law firm deliberately tried to sabotage SBF, FTX, Alameda Research, customers, or associates.
Regardless of the content of these documents, the crypto community has not supported SBF. Some believe that a Silicon Valley law firm could not have given SBF bad legal advice. Others say that it is impossible that SBF got bad legal advice and did not know he was being misled.
Fenwick & West had helped FTX and Alameda Research with several obligations, including litigation, tax, and trademarks. The law firm also assisted both firms with setting up affiliated companies. However, since FTX crashed, Fenwick & West has purged its website of any FTX references.
FTX’s Legal Battles
FTX, once the second-largest crypto exchange, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in November 2022. Valued at $32 billion at one time, the company hit bankruptcy, leading to SBF’s extradition from The Bahamas to the US. He remains at his parents’ Palo Alto home in California, awaiting trial due to begin on October 2nd.