March 27, 2024
Sam Bankman-Fried to Testify in Criminal Trial
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Sam Bankman-Fried to Testify in Criminal Trial

Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried is set to testify as part of his defense case, as announced by his attorney, Mark Cohen. During a telephone conference on October 25, Cohen stated that after the prosecution concludes its case on October 26, they plan to call three witnesses, including Bankman-Fried, to the stand. Judge Lewis Kaplan indicated that the case would proceed without delay, moving directly from the prosecution’s final witness to the defense’s first.

The defense does not anticipate requiring more than three days to question the potential witnesses, which include an attorney from the Bahamas, Joseph Pimbley from the litigation consulting firm PF2 Securities, and an individual to testify about the titles and responsibilities of former FTX employees. Judge Kaplan estimated that the defense case might take “perhaps an hour,” excluding Bankman-Fried’s testimony.

The U.S. government is expected to conclude its case against SBF on the morning of October 26, with defense attorneys likely wrapping up the following day. The need for rebuttal witnesses will depend on Bankman-Fried’s testimony, according to prosecutors. Closing arguments may be delivered before October 31. Judge Kaplan raised the possibility of a special verdict, where the jury provides findings on factual issues in the case without specifying which party should win.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos noted that the government’s wire fraud count is related to customers and revolves around false representations and a trust relationship between SBF and depositors, which resulted in financial losses for the victims.

The trial has included statements from former FTX and Alameda executives who admitted to committing crimes, often at SBF’s direction. The case alleges that SBF was responsible for Alameda using FTX funds from customers without their knowledge. It remains uncertain what Bankman-Fried’s testimony will add to the narrative presented by other witnesses. The trial is set to resume on October 26, following a hiatus since October 19.

Image by vectorpouch on Freepik

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