The high-profile fraud allegations levied at Sam Bankman-Fried have captured several news cycles. Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and denied bail. News reports about the FTX cryptocurrency exchange's founder might provide insights to Florida residents wondering what constitutes criminal fraud.
A judge in the Bahamas denied Bankman-Fried bail, suggesting that he is a flight risk. He faces possible extradition to the United States on federal criminal charges. The federal charges against Bankman-Fried allege he engaged in money laundering, wire fraud, and campaign finance law violations. As with all criminal cases, Bankman-Fried is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Besides criminal matters, Bankman-Fried will face civil charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC may seek a substantial judgment against him. Civil cases do not require guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, unlike criminal charges.
Defending fraud charges
Persons facing fraud charges may address their defense in numerous ways. Each case has its particulars. For example, when a professional makes a mistake and people suffer financial harm, the negligent party could face a civil lawsuit and a criminal investigation. Mistakes may leave someone civilly liable, but a conviction on criminal grounds may be an entirely different matter. Honest errors do not constitute an intent to defraud. So, persons who made mistakes and faced criminal fraud charges might attempt to prove their innocence by establishing they had no intention to defraud anyone.
Fraud investigations might derive from false allegations from disgruntled employees or partners. Establishing the truth could help someone defend themselves from the charges. A defense also reviews the police work done to build a case. If the police violated the defendant's rights, the case could collapse regardless of the evidence.