Uncategorized

Prosecutors rest their case as Sam Bankman-Fried prepares to testify

Attorneys representing the United States Justice Department rested their case against Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried after more than three weeks of expert witnesses and testimonies from former FTX and Alameda employees. 

According to reports from the courtroom on Oct. 26, the U.S. government’s last witness before resting was FBI agent Mark Troiano, who primarily testified on SBF’s involvement in more than 300 groups with the messaging app Signal. Following Toiano’s testimony, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers motioned to dismiss, which was quickly denied by Judge Lewis Kaplan.

SBF’s attorneys, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, presented two witnesses before Bankman-Fried. Krystal Rolle, a Bahamas-based attorney previously representing the former FTX CEO, testified she accompanied SBF to a meeting with the Securities Commission of the Bahamas in November 2022 and witnessed him transferring FTX assets to authorities.

Joseph Pimbley from litigation consulting firm PF2 Securities, the defense’s second witness, testified he had been paid more than $50,000 to extract data from Amazon Web Services on Alameda Research’s line of credit with FTX and data on roughly 9 to 11 million users of the crypto exchange. Attorneys with the Justice Department questioned Pimbley on whether he had any knowledge of how FTX funds were used or the “allow negative” button — the feature giving Alameda the ability to trade more funds that the firm had available.

Based on reporting from the courtroom, Judge Kaplan often pushed back on questions posed by Everdell or Cohen to witnesses, saying, “This is not helpful” and “Can we get to the point?” At the time of publication, Bankman-Fried had not yet testified, but his lawyers said they expected him to be on the stand for roughly four hours.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried has no way to ‘outfox’ prosecutors: Scaramucci

Defense attorneys told Kaplan in an Oct. 25 conference call that they planned to have Bankman-Fried testify as part of their case defending the former FTX CEO. Prosecutors previously called former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, former FTX chief technology officer Gary Wang and former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh to testify on SBF directing efforts to have Alameda use FTX funds.

Bankman-Fried’s trial is expected to end within a few business days amid closing arguments and the judge considering any motions submitted by prosecutors or defense lawyers. However, the former FTX CEO is scheduled to face five more criminal counts in a second trial expected to begin in March 2024. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges in both cases.

Magazine: Can you trust crypto exchanges after the collapse of FTX?

Update (Oct. 26 at 4:50 PM UTC): This article has been updated to include information on the U.S. government’s cross-examination of Joseph Pimbley.