Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is currently undergoing a trial, took a surprising turn as he took the stand in his criminal fraud trial in New York.
However, the judge, Lewis Kaplan, decided to send the jurors home for the day, indicating that there were crucial decisions to be made regarding the testimony.
Bankman-Fried is set to testify on Friday to provide his version of the events that led to the collapse of his multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency company, resulting in substantial financial losses for investors and customers.
Initially, Bankman-Fried would testify before the jury on Thursday. Still, Judge Kaplan altered the plans, stating that he needed to determine the scope and content of Bankman-Fried’s testimony.
“We’re in the home stretch,” Kaplan assured the jurors as anticipation built regarding the upcoming testimony.
The defense had attempted to have Bankman-Fried acquitted on Thursday, arguing that the prosecutors had failed to present sufficient evidence to support the charges.
However, their request was denied.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial began on October 2nd in a Manhattan courthouse.
He faces charges related to what prosecutors labeled “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.”
Bankman-Fried’s $32 Billion Empire to Legal Troubles
Once valued at $32 billion, Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency empire crumbled last year, leading to his arrest in the Bahamas in December.
He now faces many charges, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions, and defrauding the Federal Election Commission.
Additionally, Bankman-Fried faces charges related to securities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and conspiracy to bribe foreign officials in a separate trial scheduled for March 2024.
The prosecution alleges that he misappropriated customer funds to support his cryptocurrency firm, Alameda Research, and to finance political campaigns.
They also assert that he made false and misleading statements to investors about the financial health of FTX.
Bankman-Fried’s defense counsel, Mark Cohen, has previously stated that his client will take the stand to refute the prosecution’s claims of investor fraud and misappropriation of customer funds.
Throughout the trial, several executive team members, including his ex-girlfriend and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, have testified against him, shedding light on the complex case that has captivated the cryptocurrency and financial worlds.
Source: The Hill