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SBF’s Expert Witnesses Barred From Testifying at Trial

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A federal judge overseeing the former FTX CEO’s case has granted the DOJ’s motion to exclude testimony from seven expert witnesses.

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Posted September 22, 2023 at 4:09 am EST.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled in favor of the Department of Justice (DOJ), granting a motion to bar seven expert witnesses from testifying at Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial.

In an order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Kaplan granted in limine motions to exclude testimony from Thomas Bishop, Brian Kim, Bradley Smith, Lawrence Akka, Joseph Pimbley, Peter Vinella and Andrew Di Wu.

Last month, the DOJ filed a motion to preclude them from testifying, arguing that the proposed experts and their accompanying disclosures suffered from “an array of deficiencies.”

The only witness testimony that Kaplan did not rule to exclude was that of Peter Easton, who will be allowed to testify about customer fiat deposits and will be permitted only to rely on data that he did not personally collect. 

Kaplan also allowed Bankman-Fried’s lawyers to call upon some of these experts as witnesses to testify in response to witness testimony from the U.S. government. 

Meanwhile, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied a motion for Bankman-Fried’s early release ahead of his trial. In their ruling, the judges said that Kaplan had correctly determined Bankman-Fried’s comments to a New York Times reporter about the contents of former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison’s private journal constituted witness tampering.

“The district court did not err in concluding that [Bankman-Fried] had failed to rebut the presumption in favor of detention. We have reviewed [the defense’s] additional arguments and find them unpersuasive,” said the judges.

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