Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Move to Squash Voyager Subpoena

A subpoena for Sam Bankman-Fried that was given to his mother, Barbara Fried, and not Sam himself is being called “procedurally deficient” by his legal counsel.

The counsel for Bankman-Fried is arguing that caselaw in U.S. courts holds that this specific type of subpoena must be personally delivered to the named individual and not left in the care of someone else.

Lawyers for Voyager’s creditors are investigating FTX's attempt to bail out crypto lender Voyager Digital when it went bankrupt in July 2022.

The specific type of subpoena in question is called a Rule 45 subpoena, which commands the named individual to produce designated documents for inspection and copying. These types of subpoenas are used to procure records and documents used in court cases.

“Leaving the Subpoena in the possession of Barbara Fried does not satisfy the Rule’s requirement for personal service on Mr. Bankman-Fried. Substitute service is generally not permitted to serve a Rule 45 subpoena,” counsel writes, citing prior precedent from a number of cases.

His counsel also says that the subpoena places an undue burden on Bankman-Fried because it only gives him one business day to produce 49 separate documents, and a four-day notice to appear. It was also served before the President’s Day long weekend.

Compliance with the subpoena would also potentially violate Bankman-Fried’s Fifth Amendment rights, which protects against self-incrimination.

“Each of the document requests calls for documents that may be relevant to the Criminal Case, in which loans by and to Alameda are at issue,” they write. “The requested production would entail reviewing a large volume of material and making judgments about their responsiveness – a process that could be deemed to constitute an incriminating testimonial act in the Criminal Case.”

Voyager’s creditors are due back in court in New York on February 22 for another hearing.