FTX founder’s expert witnesses could cost up to $1.2K an hour


As the beginning date of the trial of FTX co-founder Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried approaches, new court docket filings point out that SBF could pay his expert witnesses greater than $1,000 an hour ought to they testify on his behalf.

SBF could name seven expert witnesses to testify at his fraud trial, which is at present scheduled for Oct. 2, 2023. The proposed expert witnesses embody Lawrence Akka, Thomas Bishop, Brian Kim, Joseph Pimbley, Bradley Smith, Peter Vinella and Andrew Di Wu.

Some of the witnesses, equivalent to former Federal Election Commission Chairperson Bradley Smith, will charge SBF’s authorized staff $1,200 an hour to testify about points such because the United States’ marketing campaign finance legal guidelines and straw donors, in accordance to a court docket submitting on Aug. 28.

“I have no financial interest in the outcome of this case. I am being compensated for my time and services on an hourly basis at the billing rate of $1,200 per hour,” Smith mentioned within the submitting. The doc added:

“My compensation in this case is not in any way contingent or based on the opinions presented herein or on the outcome of these legal proceedings.”

Other expert witnesses, together with Akka and Pimbley, could charge 800 British kilos ($1,000) and $720 per hour, respectively, ought to they testify, according to the court docket filings. Other hourly charges for SBF’s potential expert witnesses vary between $400 and $650.

On the opposite hand, Peter Easton, an accounting professor on the University of Notre Dame, who’s a proposed witness for the prosecution, will cost $1,175 per hour, the court docket information shows.

The above-mentioned court docket filings got here as a part of a movement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to ban all seven expert witnesses from testifying for SBF in court docket.

The DOJ argued that Bankman-Fried’s proposed specialists and their accompanying disclosures “suffer from an array of deficiencies” and fail to present a foundation for the opinions.

Related: DOJ calls SBF’s fraud allegation defense ‘irrelevant,’ requests additional info

“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,” the authority wrote.

The information comes amid the final deadline for SBF to request a postponement of the trial. If the request is filed by Sept. 1 and authorised, SBF’s trial can be moved to March 11, 2024.

Bankman-Fried faces 12 prison prices, which can be unfold throughout two trials scheduled to start on Oct. 2, 2023, and March 11, 2024. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

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