- Prosecutors compared a defense jury instruction to a scene from Dumb and Dumber, arguing that FTX credits weren’t the same as having customer funds
- The disputed instruction said FTX customers receiving credits to transact was the same as the right to withdraw funds later
- Prosecutors allege Bankman-Fried defrauded investors out of billions as FTX collapsed; he faces life in prison on fraud charges
The high-profile trial of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried continues in New York as prosecutors and defense attorneys battle over jury instructions. In a surprising move, the prosecution compared one of the defense’s arguments to a famous scene from the 1994 comedy Dumb and Dumber.
Prosecution Takes Issue with Defense Instructions
In a written brief to Judge Lewis Kaplan on Thursday, federal prosecutors pushed back against several of the jury instructions proposed by Bankman-Fried’s defense team. One instruction in particular reminded them of the classic comedy starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.
The Argument in Question
The disputed instruction stated that if FTX customers received a credit to transact on the exchange after depositing funds, that was the same as having the right to withdraw those funds later. The prosecution argues this is untrue, since FTX customer money was actually misused for things like real estate and political donations as the company crumbled.
A Reference to Dumb and Dumber
In a footnote, the prosecution said this defense claim was like a scene in Dumb and Dumber. When a briefcase of ransom money is opened, it contains only IOUs. Carrey’s character still insists “That’s as good as money, sir.” Prosecutors say credits aren’t the same as having the actual funds.
The High Stakes of the Trial
The government alleges Bankman-Fried defrauded investors out of billions of dollars as his crypto empire collapsed. He faces up to life in prison on fraud charges. The trial continues with former executives testifying against Bankman-Fried after striking deals with prosecutors.
As the closely-watched FTX trial continues, prosecutors are pushing back hard against the defense team’s claims. The comparison to a classic comedy scene underscores how contentious the arguments have become in this high-profile corporate fraud case.