Sam Bankman-Fried testified earlier than a jury for the primary time on Friday saying he didn’t defraud FTX clients or take their funds, in response to Bloomberg’s live reporting of the trial. The FTX and Alameda’s founder stated that Alameda “borrowed” them, however admitted “lots of people obtained damage.”
After the jury was unexpectedly sent home Thursday by Choose Kaplan, Bankman-Fried testified to the decide and media reporters. The jury was in a position to hear an identical testimony from SBF Friday.
The FTX founder painted himself as being largely unaware of the large fraud occurring at his firms, and at greatest, an ignorant founder and CEO. His claims of ignorance, nonetheless, are disputed by the sworn testimonies of former FTX and Alameda executives.
SBF claimed to be solely “considerably conscious” of the limitless line of credit score Alameda might borrow from FTX’s buyer funds. The testimonies of former FTX executives Nishad Singh and Gary Wang refute SBF’s claims of ignorance. The director of engineering and the chief expertise officer each say Bankman-Fried was utterly conscious, and the quantity borrowed from clients ultimately grew to $10 billion. The funds allegedly “borrowed” from clients have nonetheless not been returned in full, and the corporate is negotiating a sale or revamp to pay clients again.
The protection’s claims that SBF was an ignorant CEO and founder unfold far and broad. Bankman-Fried says he solely loosely understood cryptocurrency when he began the corporate. The founder additionally says he solely loosely skimmed over FTX’s phrases of service, and that he wasn’t positive of the extent they allowed Alameda to take buyer funds. With regard to Alameda’s stability sheets, SBF says he solely noticed some iterations of them.
The protection appears to have discovered a technique, ignorance, as a result of the punishment for being a dumb CEO is lower than the punishment for being an evil CEO. These claims of ignorance, nonetheless, contradict testimonies from Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, who stated SBF directed her to commit sure crimes. The prosecution’s forensic accountant additionally pointed to a number of cases the place SBF should have identified in regards to the utilization of buyer funds.
SBF will proceed to testify on Monday morning of subsequent week. The prosecution anticipates a “important cross-examination,” probably approaching Tuesday. Choose Kaplan says the case will possible not go to the jury till Thursday or Friday.