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DOJ Plans to Call Former FTX Customers and Investors as Witnesses in Sam Bankman-Fried’s Trial

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Source: a video screenshot, ABC News / YouTube

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to call former FTX customers, investors, and employees as witnesses in the upcoming trial against disgraced CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

The move aims to shed light on the creditors’ and stakeholders’ expectations regarding FTX’s handling of their assets and their interactions with Bankman-Fried, according to a letter written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thane Rehn that was first reported on by CoinDesk.

According to the letter, the witnesses will help to clarify how Bankman-Fried’s statements and actions concerning FTX’s treatment of customer assets and other matters should be interpreted.

While the DOJ has not disclosed the exact number or identities of these prospective witnesses, it has stated that they are likely to provide relatively brief testimonies, each lasting less than 30 minutes and require “minimal, if any, exhibits.”

Three key witnesses

Additionally, the DOJ has identified three cooperating witnesses who will testify in the case.

The three individuals, including former FTX Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang, former FTX Head of Engineering Nishad Singh, and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, have all pleaded guilty to charges against them related to the bankruptcy.

Overseas FTX customers

Besides the three key witnesses, the DOJ has hinted at the involvement of at least two other witnesses who will testify in exchange forSam immunity.

However, their identities have not yet been publicly revealed.

According to an X post from Inner City Press, one of the customer witnesses resides in Ukraine, posing logistical challenges due to the ongoing war and the need for government permission to travel out of the country.

In response to this, the DOJ has requested permission for this witness to testify via video conference, but the defense has expressed objections to this approach.

The trial against Sam Bankman-Fried is set to begin in the coming days, with the jury selection scheduled for October 3.

Bankman-Fried faces more than 100 years in prison if found guilty on all counts.