FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces seven federal prices in a prison trial going down in Manhattan. The previous crypto change exec is accused of misappropriating billions of {dollars} of buyer funds for actual property, donations, political contributions and investments. 

The present state of play: Bankman-Fried took the stand on Thursday, although no jury have been current. He’s anticipated to take the stand but once more as we speak, this time in entrance of the jury. After SBF wraps up his testimony, the protection’s case is just about wrapped, which suggests the jury can mull over the case earlier than delivering a verdict. Learn extra right here.


10:30 am ET: The present will go on

Decide Kaplan will enable the protection to introduce the doc retention coverage as a part of SBF’s recommendation of counsel argument.

The coverage itself isn’t a “shock to anyone,” Kaplan stated. He added that corporations usually have insurance policies just like this and CEOs, in his expertise, don’t draft them. Attorneys do. 

Nevertheless, Kaplan received’t enable all the things that the protection had tried to incorporate of their case — scoring a minor win for the federal government. 

The protection had been hoping to have Kaplan log off on introducing the concept SBF sought authorized recommendation on the matters of how you can construction promissory notes and when to make use of the auto-delete function for firm messaging. Whereas the protection’s deliberate argument does relaxation on when SBF listened to the recommendation of legal professionals, SBF’s staff made it very clear that this was not a proper recommendation of counsel protection.

In Kaplan’s view, nonetheless, the issue with this protection is that it “is usually a very deceptive argument” relying on the info.

The present will go on so long as these stipulations are met, that means that SBF is taking the stand as we speak.

Reside from the courtroom: Sassoon had one other run-in with a juror this morning the place they tried to say good morning to her. She stated she declined to reply the juror and requested the decide to concern a reminder that counsel can not converse to the jury. 

(Enjoyable reality: Sassoon was additionally the prosecutor who unintentionally walked into the jury’s room final week.)

Sassoon additionally requested Kaplan to concern a reminder to the gallery to settle down as a result of she heard “noises” and “laughing.” Oops.

Kaplan threatened to take away folks if it continues. Quiet within the courtroom!

10 am ET: Sam Bankman-Fried is meant to retake the stand Friday

Except Bankman-Fried made a last-minute resolution whereas sitting in his cell on the Metropolitan Detention Middle late Thursday, the previous CEO of FTX will as soon as once more testify in entrance of the courtroom. 

Nevertheless, issues will look just a little totally different as we speak. For instance, the jury is predicted to be current. They’ll additionally cowl greater than they did within the late afternoon hours — SBF’s testimony in entrance of the gallery went from 2 pm to roughly 5 pm. And simply in case you’re busy as we speak, don’t have any worry: SBF’s testimony is predicted to go for longer than simply someday so tune again in subsequent week.

What we all know: The protection is attempting to determine that SBF was listening to his authorized staff when he — and others at FTX — set Sign and Slack group chats to auto-delete, and that legal professionals have been additionally concerned within the Fee Agent Settlement established between Alameda and FTX. The federal government will not be a fan, and desires to chop this a part of the testimony.

Oh, and as a facet notice, when pushed to provide a reputation, any identify, of one of many legal professionals he allegedly spoke with on these points, SBF named Ramnik Arora — FTX’s ex-head of product. However Arora will not be a lawyer in any respect — a degree that SBF then needed to make clear in entrance of the courtroom after being pushed by the prosecution.

Decide Lewis Kaplan informed the courtroom yesterday that the prosecution, protection and Kaplan himself agreed to maneuver ahead with the jury-less testimony as a result of he didn’t have sufficient info to rule both manner “regardless of quite a lot of effort on the a part of all people involved.”

Presumably, Kaplan will not be solely alluding to the sheer quantity of letter motions filed by each side but in addition the “deforestation” going down because of the variety of papers the courtroom needed to print for this case. A remark, in case you missed it, that he snarkily made to legal professionals on a telephone convention earlier this week. 

Now, earlier than we transfer on, let’s cowl one other level: SBF’s testimony talked about former FTX chief regulatory officer Dan Friedberg quite a few instances. Again in June, FTX, Alameda and West Realm Shires debtors filed a grievance alleging that Friedberg acted as a “fixer” for SBF.  

The June grievance alleged that Friedberg “knowingly” failed to make sure that there was prosper danger mitigation or compliance and “in some situations he organized for the FTX Group to retain […] whistleblowers’ attorneys post-settlement, thereby shopping for or in any other case guaranteeing their silence.”

Alright, again to Bankman-Fried. SBF claims that there was a doc retention coverage created by each Friedberg and his former employer, Fenwick and West, which SBF adopted — therefore the auto-deletion of group chats. 

However, properly, whereas SBF is explaining the obvious ins and outs doc from his “information,” the precise doc is nowhere to be discovered.

“We’ve been unable to serve the subpoenas asking for it,” SBF informed prosecutor Danielle Sassoon when requested.

Outdoors of the matters, the listening to hit some tough patches. 

At one level, as Sassoon was asking SBF questions, his lawyer, Mark Cohen, objected. 

“The problem for this listening to is the scope of counsel relationship. This can be a deposition now,” Cohen informed Kaplan in the direction of the tip of the day Thursday.

After saying he was going to permit the prosecution to proceed the road of questioning, Kaplan added that “a part of the issue is that the witness has what I’ll merely name an fascinating manner of responding to questions for the second.”

Cohen shot again that the issue was “the character of this sort of listening to.” In return, Kaplan shut him down by saying, “if you wish to push forward with the proof you’re looking for to introduce, it’s by this listening to if in any respect.”

Proper after this back-and-forth, SBF had an change with Sassoon that seemingly proved Kaplan’s level. 

“I’m providing you with my greatest guess at answering the query,” he informed the prosecutor after she requested if he knew that Alameda “might have an total unfavorable worth.”

Sassoon responded, “I’m not asking for a guess. I’m asking what you understood on the time.”

And that’s not the one occasion like that. There have been quite a few instances when SBF was wordy and appeared to keep away from giving a straight reply — to the purpose the place Kaplan needed to remind the ex-CEO that he needed to reply solely the questions requested of him.


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