Prosecutors Move to Exclude Crypto Expert Testimony in Upcoming Nevin Shetty Fraud Trial

News | July 9, 2024 By:

On Tuesday, June 25, 2024, the United States government filed a motion to exclude expert witness testimony ahead of the upcoming criminal trial of Nevin Shetty.

Shetty, the former chief financial officer of the e-commerce company Fabric, is accused of defrauding his employer of millions of dollars. According to an indictment, Shetty invested $35 million of the company’s funds into a cryptocurrency account at HighTower Treasury, a company he co-owned. The Department of Justice indictment alleges this was part of a scheme to defraud Fabric for Shetty’s own financial gain.

The upcoming trial will focus on whether Shetty lied to Fabric’s leadership and misappropriated company money for personal investment purposes. Shetty maintains his innocence and intends to defend himself in court with the help of expert witnesses on topics like cryptocurrency, corporate governance, and finance.

However, federal prosecutors argued in their recent court filing that much of the expert testimony proposed by Shetty’s defense team should be excluded as unreliable, irrelevant, or prejudicial. The motion highlighted four key issues with Shetty’s expert witness disclosures.

First, some experts intended to make broad, sweeping conclusions without providing reliable evidence to back up their opinions. Statements on topics like human psychology or inherent qualities of technology went beyond the experts’ qualifications.

Second, experts also planned to discuss personal experiences and anecdotes, which are not considered proper expert opinions. Details of individuals’ cryptocurrency usage preferences or investment choices have no bearing on the fraud charges against Shetty.

Third, some expert opinions addressed events that occurred after the time period covered in the indictment against Shetty. Discussing cryptocurrency regulations passed in 2024 or later institutional crypto adoption was deemed untimely and irrelevant to the case.

Finally, prosecutors argued multiple experts proposed redundant or overlapping testimony on similar issues like cryptocurrency itself. Shetty failed to explain why more than one voice was needed on these topics.

The motion singled out proposed testimony from six experts in particular that crossed the lines of relevance, reliability and potentially confusing or misleading a jury. A pretrial ruling from the judge will determine what expert opinions, if any, are allowed to be presented as the trial against Shetty moves forward.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.