Home>Business>Sam Bankman-Fried’s testimony to challenge government claims, lawyer tells judge

Sam Bankman-Fried’s testimony to challenge government claims, lawyer tells judge


The possible contents of Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried upcoming testimony have been outlined in a letter to Judge Kaplan by his lawyer, Mark Cohen.

In the letter submitted by Mark Cohen, to inform the Court of their planned testimony during Mr. Bankman-Fried’s direct examination, the defense requested approval to obtain testimony regarding Mr. Bankman-Fried’s awareness of counsel’s participation in specific matters, following the Court’s order from October 1, 2023.

FTX, FTX US and Alameda Research entered bankruptcy proceedings, on Nov. 11, 2022, with Bankman-Fried resigning as CEO. He had been arrested in the Bahamas on Dec. 12 after the U.S. government formally notified the country of charges the U.S. was filing against him. Meanwhile, FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Alameda Research CEO (and reportedly sometime SBF girlfriend) Ellison agreed to plead guilty in the burgeoning case.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s testimony would challenge government allegations, particularly concerning counsel involvement in events such as auto-deletion policies, creating North Dimension entities, the Payment Agent Agreement, loans from Alameda, and drafting FTX Terms of Service. Understanding the counsel’s role is crucial to showing his belief in proper and lawful conduct.

Screenshot of the letter    Source: CourtListener

The defense argues that Mr. Bankman-Fried’s understanding of legal counsel’s involvement is relevant to his state of mind and good faith. Furthermore, they assert that his knowledge of industry practices is essential to demonstrate his belief in acting in line with accepted norms.

According to the letter, Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s admissions of providing manipulated data, as well as former FTX Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang’s claims of SBF’s involvement in enabling Alameda to “withdraw unlimited funds,” alongside former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh’s testimony about Alameda’s “excessive” celebrity endorsements purchases, underscore the significance of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s testimony regarding his intentions on November 12, 2022, to counter inferences drawn from prior witness statements.

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

Furthermore, the letter notes that the defense plans to have Mr. Bankman-Fried testify about his sincere intentions on November 12, 2022, regarding his compliance with directives from Bahamian authorities. This testimony would revolve around his belief that Bahamian authorities prioritized FTX customers’ well-being and that FTX’s in-house and U.S. bankruptcy counsel had potential conflicts of interest.

The United States government is expected to wrap up its case against SBF on the morning of Oct. 26, with defense attorneys likely finishing the following day. Prosecutors added they were uncertain whether rebuttal witnesses would be necessary depending on Bankman-Fried’s testimony. Closing arguments could be held before Oct. 31.

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