Legal experts explain how Clarence Thomas’ SCOTUS ruling could impact charges against Sam Bankman-Fried

Legal experts explain how Clarence Thomas’ SCOTUS ruling could impact charges against Sam Bankman-Fried
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 2017 (Creative Commons)

Legal experts are expressing concern over how a recent U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas case ruling could be impacted by his luxury gifts controversy.

In a new article published by Law & Crime, legal beat editor Adam Klasfeld began with details explaining the circumstances involving Sam Bankman-Fried, whom he described as "the most hated man in cryptocurrency."

Klasfeld wrote, "On Friday, Bankman-Fried's attorneys argued that five of the charges against their client might now be on shaky ground in the wake of the holding in U.S. v. Ciminelli, a decision authored by Justice Clarence Thomas."

READ MORE: Watchdog group urges Clarence Thomas to resign for 'extreme misconduct' and 'repeated ethical failings'

He went on to share details about Thomas' ruling, writing, "Thomas — with unanimous agreement from his colleagues — voided the so-called 'right-to-control' theory of fraud prosecution holding that someone can be found guilty of wire fraud for scheming to deprive the victim of 'potentially valuable economic information' needed for “discretionary economic decisions.”

His opinion, however, found that the "federal fraud statutes criminalize only schemes to deprive people of traditional property interests."

Appealing to Senior U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, Bankman-Fried's legal team insists five of the 13 charges against their client are based on what Klasfeld describes as a "now-defunct legal theory."

He wrote, "The opinion has a direct bearing on the viability of Counts 7-9 and 1-2” of the most recent indictment, which made various fraud allegations. Those counts include conspiracy to commit wire fraud on lenders of Alameda Research, his proprietary hedge fund, wire fraud on those lenders, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud on customers of FTX, and wire fraud on those customers."

READ MORE: Clarence Thomas opposes a 'landmark precedent' guaranteeing defendants the right to counsel: legal columnist

Klasfeld also noted, "On the domestic front, prosecutors claim, Bankman-Fried relied upon two FTX employees, identified in court documents only as 'CC-1' and 'CC-2,' to send donations to different poles of the political spectrum. Prosecutors claim that Bankman-Fried colorfully anointed 'CC-1' the face of left-leaning spending by telling this person that the role 'will mean you giving to a lot of woke s— for transactional purposes.'"

READ MORE: GOP billionaire donor who funded Clarence Thomas’ lavish lifestyle also donated heavily to Sinema, Manchin

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