DOJ Challenges Expert Witnesses Proposed for Bankman-Fried Trial
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has objected to the inclusion of all seven expert witnesses put forward by Sam Bankman-Fried for his upcoming October trial.
In a recent court filing, the DOJ outlined shortcomings in the proposed experts and their disclosures. Some disclosures lacked expert opinions, while most failed to meet the required foundation standards set by federal rules.
The agency argued that even when opinions were provided, they often didn’t meet the criteria for expert testimony due to unreliability, lack of factual basis, or irrelevance, potentially causing jury confusion.
The list of potential witnesses includes Lawrence Akka, a British barrister; Thomas Bishop, president of Tom Bishop & Associates LLC; Brian Kim, director at Guidepost Solutions; Joseph Pimbley, principal at Maxwell Consulting; Bradley Smith, professor at Capital University Law School; Peter Vinella, managing director at PVA Toucan International; and Andrew Di Wu, assistant professor at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
The DOJ urged the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to exercise its authority in assessing evidence and prevent the testimonies of the proposed experts.
The DOJ plans to present its own witnesses, Gary Wang and Nishad Singh, former colleagues of Bankman-Fried who have pleaded guilty. These witnesses are seen as competent to address questions about FTX’s code during cross-examination.
Bankman-Fried’s trial is scheduled to start on October 3. Currently in jail on multiple fraud charges linked to the collapse of his cryptocurrency venture, FTX Group, Bankman-Fried’s legal team sought his temporary release to review trial materials or at least increase his access to legal counsel.
If convicted, Bankman-Fried could potentially face a prison term of over 100 years for various charges, including allegations of misusing customer assets for personal failed investments alongside other FTX executives.