Bankman-Fried’s decision to testify comes after a number of his former close associates took the stand against him. Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, FTX co-founder, Gary Wang, and head of engineering for FTX Nishad Singh, largely deflected responsibility back to Bankman-Fried by alleging he was the mastermind behind the company’s misuse of customer funds. However, Bankman-Fried could be seen shaking his head no multiple times during their testimonies.
The prosecution finalized their case today with brief testimony from FBI Special Agent, Marc Troiano. Troiano testified that Bankman-Fried was a part of 325 chats with a special auto-deletion feature on encrypted messaging platform, Signal. Moreover, the defense pointed out that the auto-deletion feature was turned off in a number of these chats by Bankman-Fried around the time FTX collapsed.
The defense ultimately struggled to push through Troiano’s cross-examination, facing a number of objections from the prosecution. At one point, Judge Kaplan chided their somewhat redundant line of questioning, claiming it “was not helpful.”
However, the defense was able to take the reins as they presented their first new witnesses, which included Bankman-Fried’s Bahamian lawyer Krystal Rolle and financial issues consultant, Joseph Pimbley. Specializing in quantitative finance, Pimbley presented data from a snapshot of FTX’s database, most notably showcasing the in-use line of credit belonging to Alameda Research’s accounts.
In a line graph, Pimbley demonstrated that all of Alameda Research’s accounts at their peak were only utilizing $5 billion worth of their $65 billion line of credit.
The prosecution’s cross-examination consisted mostly of pointing out information that wasn’t factored into Pimbley’s data. They claimed that the database simply provides information but doesn’t hold actual funds, noting that Pimbley never reviewed any bank statements. Moreover, the prosecution claimed that Alameda Research’s account actually consisted of two other accounts in order to make its line of credit lower, referencing FTX co-founder Gary Wang’s testimony.
However, the prosecution pointed out so many aspects not counted that Judge Kaplan scolded them, noting that Pibmley’s data had “certain inherent limitations” based on what he was asked to quantify.
Equally important, the defense presented Bankman-Fried’s Bahamian lawyer, Krystal Rolle. Rolle testified that she began representing Bankman-Fried personally in the Bahamas on November 11th, 2022. She discussed in detail the process of Bankman-Fried’s initial investigation and liquidation proceedings.
Bankman-Fried will testify next in his own defense this afternoon.
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