Defense lawyers for Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, have stated that he will testify as part of his defense case. Mark Cohen, one of the attorneys on SBF’s legal team, revealed during a recent telephone conference that after the prosecution completes its case, they plan to call three witnesses, including Bankman-Fried, to the stand. Judge Lewis Kaplan has granted permission for the case to proceed smoothly, moving directly from the prosecution’s final witness to the defense’s first one.
The defense anticipates that it will take around three days to question the three potential witnesses, none of whom have been named. These witnesses include an attorney based in the Bahamas, Joseph Pimbley from litigation consulting firm PF2 Securities, and an individual who will testify about the titles and responsibilities of former FTX employees. Judge Kaplan estimated that the defense case could take “perhaps an hour,” excluding Bankman-Fried’s testimony.
The United States government is expected to conclude its case against SBF on the morning of October 26, with the defense attorneys likely finishing the following day. Prosecutors mentioned that they were unsure if rebuttal witnesses would be necessary, depending on Bankman-Fried’s testimony. Closing arguments are anticipated to take place before October 31.
During the trial, Kaplan raised the possibility of pursuing a special verdict, which would involve “the jury giving findings on factual issues without necessarily stating which party should win,” according to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos explained that the government’s single wire fraud count revolves around the theory that Bankman-Fried made false representations and breached a trust relationship with depositors by taking their money.
Bankman-Fried’s potential testimony comes after former FTX and Alameda executives, including Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh, admitted to committing crimes while under the direction of SBF. The criminal case alleges that Bankman-Fried bears responsibility for Alameda’s use of FTX funds from customers without their knowledge.
It remains unclear what information Bankman-Fried could provide to counter the narrative presented by previous witnesses. The trial is set to resume on October 26 after a break since October 19.
1. Who is Sam Bankman-Fried?
Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, is the former CEO of FTX and is currently facing a criminal trial.
2. Why is Bankman-Fried testifying in his defense case?
Bankman-Fried’s defense attorneys have stated that he will testify as part of his defense strategy in the criminal trial.
3. How long is the defense case expected to last?
The defense case, including the questioning of three potential witnesses and Bankman-Fried’s testimony, is anticipated to take around three days.
4. What is the government’s case against SBF?
The government has charged Bankman-Fried with wire fraud, alleging that he made false representations and breached a trust relationship with depositors by taking their money.
5. What have previous witnesses testified in the trial?
Former FTX and Alameda executives have admitted to committing crimes under the direction of Bankman-Fried, relating to the use of FTX funds without customers’ knowledge.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, is expected to testify in his criminal trial, according to his defense lawyers. After the prosecution concludes its case, the defense plans to call three witnesses before Bankman-Fried takes the stand. The trial is set to continue after a hiatus, with the defense case expected to last around three days. Bankman-Fried’s testimony could potentially counter the narrative presented by previous witnesses. The trial revolves around allegations of wire fraud and the misuse of customer funds.