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CFTC and SEC cases against SBF Deferred until after Criminal Trial

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, had advocated for the civil proceedings to be postponed owing to a significant overlap between the CFTC, SEC, and DOJ’s cases.

A New York court has granted prosecutors’ request to postpone civil proceedings from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission against Sam Bankman-Fried until after the FTX founder’s criminal trial in October.

On February 13, U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel granted the applications to delay the civil proceedings “without prejudice,” which means the lawsuits will now be suspended until the Department of Justice’s criminal trial complete.

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, filed the application on February 7, seeking that both civil lawsuits against the FTX founder and former CEO be deferred.

Williams stated that all three lawsuits will most likely rest on delivering the same evidence against Bankman-Fried, and that the DOJ’s trial in October will have a “major influence” on these civil cases.

He also suggested that not delaying the cases would give SBF an unfair advantage in the DOJ’s trial, because the FTX founder had the tools to “improperly obtain impeachment material regarding the government’s witnesses, circumvent the criminal discovery rules, and improperly tailor his defense in the criminal case.”

The legal team for Bankman-Fried did not contest William’s petition to postpone the hearings.

In a related court development involving SBF’s alleged witness tampering, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on Feb. 9 extended the FTX founder’s restriction on using all encrypted messaging applications as part of his bail terms until Feb. 21.

SBF’s legal team had negotiated a compromise to utilize specific encrypted applications under close supervision a week previously, but Judge Kaplan overturned it, implying that he was more concerned with shutting down any encrypted communication than with granting SBF a minor comfort.


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