The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a motion to disqualify seven expert witnesses proposed by the legal team of disgraced founder and former CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).
According to a filing filed Monday in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the DOJ insisted on excluding all witnesses because their opinions are inappropriate subjects for expert testimony, irrelevant to the trial, and the jury can confuse.
DOJ moves to discredit SBF’s proposed witnesses
The proposed expert witnesses are Lawrence Akka, Thomas Bishop, Brian Kim, Joseph Pimbley, Bradley Smith, Peter Vinella and Andrew De Vu. If the court permits, they would introduce the opinion, which the DOJ described as “inadmissible hearsay testimony”, stressing that it would invade the jury’s precinct during the trial.
Akka FTX will testify on terms of service that involve a contractual lender-debtor relationship, not a declaration of trust in fiat currencies; Therefore, the bankrupt crypto exchange was not prohibited from using fiat currencies for any purpose. Bishop is to testify on the calculation of financial data and metrics for FTX, Alameda Research and other affiliated entities based on available information.
Kim is to testify on “document metadata and possible or permissive inferences drawn therefrom”, while Pimbley will comment on deficiencies in FTX’s software infrastructure.
Smith, a professor of law at Capital University Law School, is to provide information on US campaign finance laws, and Wu, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, is to testify on common practices and a timeline of events in the digital asset industry. Contributed to the crypto recession in 2022.
The DOJ argued that the proposed witnesses and their disclosures lacked a credible basis in facts and data and suffered from deficiencies that warranted their exclusion.
SBF seeks to exclude DOJ’s proposed witness
While the DOJ seeks to bar the SBF’s proposed witnesses from testifying during its upcoming trial, Respondent has also filed a motion to exclude the agency’s proposed expert witness from testifying.
Peter Easton, an accountancy professor and financial analysis expert at the University of Notre Dame, has to offer his opinion on how FTX’s client deposits and withdrawals are handled. However, the SBF team insists that their opinion is irrelevant to the case.
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