Testifying in court without the presence of the jury, Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried faced questioning from prosecutors regarding his alleged involvement in using customer funds for investments through Alameda Research. According to reports from the New York courtroom on October 26, Bankman-Fried denied knowledge of why crypto exchange FTX began moving user funds from a bank account with Alameda to a firm called North Dimension, which has been described as a “shadowy entity” used for money laundering. Bankman-Fried suggested that banks may have preferred North Dimension over well-known hedge funds, such as Alameda, due to comfort levels.
In his testimony, Bankman-Fried stated that he wasn’t heavily involved in North Dimension and couldn’t recall discussions with auditors about FTX user funds being routed to the entity as well as Alameda. He expressed that certain customers believed their accounts would be sent to Alameda during his time at FTX.
This testimony by SBF, given when the jury was not present, marked one of the final presentations by his defense team. Bankman-Fried testified that he believed it was legal to take FTX deposits through Alameda Research under questioning from his attorneys. However, prosecutors raised questions about his role in retaining documents and communications at FTX and Alameda.
Judge Kaplan commented on SBF’s testimony, noting his interesting way of responding to questions thus far.
The criminal trial, which commenced on October 3 after months of preparation, is expected to conclude within the next seven days following Bankman-Fried’s testimony and closing arguments from both sides. Bankman-Fried currently faces up to seven charges in the ongoing trial and is anticipated to address an additional five criminal counts in a future trial scheduled for March 2024.
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