DOJ seeks to bar Sam Bankman Fried’s expert witnesses from testifying

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In a new motion submitted to New York courts, the U.S. Department of Justice wants to exclude all of Sam Bankman-Fried’s expert witnesses from testifying on the case.

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The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion on Aug. 28 to have all seven of the expert witnesses for Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried banned from testifying in court. 

In the motion, the DOJ claims Bankman-Fried’s proposed experts and their accompanying disclosures “suffer from an array of deficiencies,” which it believes warrant being barred from the trial.

It continued to say that some of the disclosures “fail at the most basic level” to portray the opinions of the expert and most fail to provide a basis for the opinions, which is a requirement of the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16.

“Where the defendant does disclose the expert’s opinions, the opinions are inappropriate subjects for expert testimony, lack a reliable methodology or basis in facts and data, or are irrelevant, unfairly prejudicial, and confusing to the jury.”

Additionally, it argues that the legal conclusions from the proposed experts would invade the purview of both the court and jury. The DOJ asked the court to exercise its “gatekeeping authority” to prevent such expert testimonies.

At the moment, the seven proposed witnesses are Lawrence Akka, Thomas Bishop, Brian Kim, Joseph Pimbley, Bradley Smith, Peter Vinella and Andrew Di Wu, all professionals in the legal field. 

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According to Bankman-Fried’s attorneys, the DOJ procured a new batch of evidence against him on Aug. 25, which included an additional four million pages of discovery. 

This material was released less than six weeks out from his scheduled Oct. 3 trial.

On Aug. 8, the DOJ’s attorney said it planned to pursue seven charges against Bankman-Fried in the upcoming October trial. This includes his allegedly illegal campaign finance scheme as evidence as part of a wire fraud charge in the trial.

SBF’s lawyers are currently pushing for a temporary release from the detention center as they claimed the “extraordinary accommodations” offered were not sufficient to prepare for the upcoming criminal trial post-DOJ releasing the millions of documents.

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