Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has issued his first detailed legal defense since prosecutors accused him of fraud, seeking to dismiss several of the charges and claiming that the high-powered law firm representing FTX in its bankruptcy has been doing the government’s bidding.
In court filings late Monday, lawyers for Mr. Bankman-Fried said FTX and its lawyers at the firm Sullivan & Cromwell had become de facto agents of federal prosecutors building the criminal case against him and might be withholding crucial evidence.
“FTX’s legal advisors went to the government to accuse Mr. Bankman-Fried behind his back without knowing the full facts, and ultimately forced him to step down as C.E.O.,” the lawyers wrote.
For months, Sullivan & Cromwell has funneled documents and other evidence to the prosecution, the filings say. Mr. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers claimed that prosecutors had been seeking only the most incriminating documents, even though FTX might also be sitting on material that could help the defense.
In effect, they argued,…