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Bankman-Fried May Take Stand at Fraud Trial Over FTX Collapse



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Sam Bankman-Fried might take the stand at his fraud trial as quickly as Thursday, when prosecutors are set to complete presenting their case accusing the founding father of now-bankrupt cryptocurrency trade FTX of stealing billions of {dollars} from clients.

Protection lawyer Mark Cohen mentioned in a courtroom listening to Oct. 25 that Bankman-Fried would testify in his personal protection, a dangerous transfer that may give prosecutors the possibility to cross-examine the 31-year-old former billionaire about testimony from former shut colleagues that he directed them to commit crimes.


Authorized consultants mentioned Bankman-Fried has little to lose by bucking standard knowledge and testifying, given weeks of testimony in opposition to him by insiders portray an unflattering portrait of his character.

He has already taken an uncommon method for a prison defendant. As an alternative of laying low after he was charged, he revealed weblog posts on his view of what went flawed and met with a number of journalists.


Bankman-Fried has pleaded not responsible and maintained that whereas he made errors operating FTX, he by no means meant to steal funds. His legal professionals have mentioned three of his former colleagues, who’ve pleaded responsible and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, tailor-made their testimony to implicate Bankman-Fried within the hopes of receiving lenient sentences.

Prosecutors say Bankman-Fried used the misappropriated funds to prop up his crypto-focused hedge fund, Alameda Analysis, make speculative enterprise investments, and donate greater than $100 million to U.S. political campaigns. They are saying Alameda looted FTX funds by particular buying and selling privileges on the trade.


Prosecutors count on to name only one extra witness, FBI agent Mark Troiano, when the trial resumes in federal courtroom in Manhattan after a week-long break. Cohen mentioned the protection plans to name three transient witnesses earlier than Bankman-Fried takes the stand.

Cohen informed the U.S. district decide he wished to ask Bankman-Fried about legal professionals’ involvement in structuring loans from Alameda to FTX executives, which prosecutors say was a key approach the defendant and others took funds from unwitting clients.


However Cohen mentioned Bankman-Fried’s “information that legal professionals have been concerned in structuring and documenting the loans could be probative of his good religion perception that there was nothing inappropriate.”

Prosecutors could ask Bankman-Fried about why he didn’t disclose Alameda’s privileges to FTX clients or fairness buyers, and why he posted on social media within the midst of a wave of buyer withdrawals final November that FTX was “positive” when he knew it was quick billions of {dollars} in funds.


Within the letter, Cohen mentioned Bankman-Fried reserves the appropriate to resolve to not testify.

Cohen mentioned on an earlier convention name the protection might end presenting its case by Friday, paving the way in which for closing arguments and jury deliberations subsequent week. If convicted, Bankman-Fried could face decades in jail.


Picture: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan federal courtroom in June. (AP Picture/Bebeto Matthews)



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