Court rejects testimony from seven expert witnesses put forward by Sam Bankman-Fried
Bankman-Fried's request to exclude a government witness has also been rejected.
Bankman-Fried’s list of now-excluded witnesses featured experts in multiple areas, including consultant Thomas Bishop, data analyst Brian Kim, law professor Bradley Smith, British barrister Lawrence Akka, consultant Joseph Pimbley, financial consultant Peter Vinella, and assistant business professor Andrew Di Wu.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed testimony from those witnesses for various reasons, including shortcomings in each individual’s stated opinions and the general irrelevance of planned testimony. Government prosecutors had asked Judge Kaplan to reject Bankman-Fried’s witnesses in August.
The judge also excluded some witnesses on the possibility that testimony could confuse the jury and excluded some legal experts because their planned testimony aimed to instruct the jury on issues of law.
Despite the rejections, Bankman-Fried will be allowed to call four of the above expert witnesses, but only in response to government witnesses.
Judge says government witness can testify
Judge Kaplan also declined Bankman-Fried’s own request to exclude testimony from Peter Easton, a University of Notre Dame accounting professor who is expected to provide testimony related to customer deposits as a witness for the prosecution.
The judge said that Bankman-Fried’s objections are “meritless or moot” and do not address all of Easton’s planned testimony. He said that Easton has relevant, specialized knowledge and permitted Easton to rely on data that he did not collect.
During his trial, Bankman-Fried will face seven charges largely related to fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit those actions. Prosecutors are expected to pursue other charges, including campaign finance charges, at a later date.