Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to Give Testimony in Court Today: What Will He Say?
During a teleconference on Wednesday, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer Mark Cohen confirmed that his client will take the stand on Thursday, according to a report by The Associated Press.
It is expected that his testimony will span the entire day, with cross-examination scheduled for Friday.
Bankman-Fried’s decision to testify comes after weeks of speculation and uncertainty surrounding his involvement in the trial.
Analysts have been divided on whether he would choose to testify, with some suggesting that if he did, it would likely take several days to complete.
The defense team has faced obstacles leading up to the trial, particularly in securing certain witnesses.
Judge Kaplan denied all seven expert witnesses proposed by Bankman-Fried, although he did leave the possibility open for four of them to be called as rebuttals to government witnesses.
Additionally, several of Bankman-Fried’s motions in limine, which sought to determine admissible arguments and evidence, were also denied by the judge.
Bankman-Fried faces severe consequences if convicted on a range of charges, including fraud.
The allegations against him and other FTX executives claim that they utilized billions of dollars in customer assets for their own ill-fated investments.
The fallout from these actions led FTX to file for bankruptcy protection in late 2022.
Bankman-Fried’s Inner Circle Testify Against Him
Bankman-Fried’s testimony comes as some members of his close inner circle have already testified against him.
Earlier this month, FTX co-founder Gary Wang admitted that he and the former FTX boss committed wire fraud.
Wang revealed to the jury that he and Bankman-Fried engaged in financial crimes and deceitful practices that ultimately led to the collapse of the cryptocurrency trading platform.
As the chief technical officer at FTX and a co-owner of Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency hedge fund founded by Wang and Bankman-Fried in 2017, Wang confessed to committing wire, securities, and commodities fraud.
He disclosed that the duo illegally withdrew a staggering $8 billion from FTX funds through Alameda Research. Wang further claimed that Bankman-Fried directed these illicit actions.
Likewise, Caroline Ellison, a former top deputy and romantic partner of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, has claimed that Bankman-Fried instructed her to steal billions from customers.
Ellison, who was responsible for the day-to-day operations of Alameda Research, a crypto trading firm controlled by Bankman-Fried, revealed that Alameda took around $14 billion from FTX customers to repay its own debts.
Additionally, she admitted to sending information to Alameda’s lenders, on Bankman-Fried’s instructions, to manipulate the appearance of Alameda’s financial position.
Earlier during the trial, Adam Yedidia, a software developer who had worked for FTX, testified that he left the company in November when he discovered that Alameda had used investor funds to pay off creditors.
Yedidia recalled living with Bankman-Fried and other top executives in June or July of 2022, expressing his concern to Bankman-Fried about Alameda’s substantial debt to FTX.