According to a report by Bloomberg, Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder of FTX, has been denied access to documents from Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick & West LLP as part of his defense strategy in an ongoing federal fraud case. Bankman-Fried sought these documents to support his claim that he relied on legal advice while engaging in the activities for which he is currently facing prosecution.
Bankman-Fried’s legal team approached the judge overseeing the case, requesting that the prosecution either provide the documents obtained from Fenwick & West or allow them to be obtained through a subpoena. However, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected the request, referring to it as a “fishing expedition” that lacked justification.
In his defense, Bankman-Fried’s legal team had planned to argue that he acted based on the advice received from Fenwick & West. This approach is commonly used by defendants in criminal cases to counter claims of intentional wrongdoing made by prosecutors.
The counsel provided by Fenwick & West reportedly covered a range of topics, including the use of encrypted messaging apps, multimillion-dollar loans to FTX executives, and compliance with U.S. banking regulations. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers contend that these matters are crucial to the charges against their client.