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SBF Lied About ‘Big Things’ and ‘Little Things,’ Prosecutor Says

SBF Lied About ‘Big Things’ and ‘Little Things,’ Prosecutor Says
Sam Bankman-Fried (Photo: Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg)

Sam Bankman-Fried  “lied about big things and he lied about little things” during his time on the witness stand, a prosecutor said during closing statements Wednesday, capping a historic month-long trial over the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange.

Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos contrasted Bankman-Fried’s “perfect memory” under questioning by his own lawyer with his inability to remember even simple details once cross-examination began.

“He came up with a tale that was conveniently put together to exclude himself from the fraud” at his FTX crypto exchange, Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos told jurors Wednesday morning. “Over three days he took the stand and he lied.”

“It was uncomfortable to watch.”

Much of the case revolves around the relationship between companies Bankman-Fried founded, FTX and its sister hedge fund, Alameda Research. Both entities went bankrupt in November 2022, allegedly exposing a multi-billion dollar theft of funds at one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bankman-Fried made the risky decision to testify to counter incriminating testimony by Caroline Ellison, his former girlfriend and the chief executive officer of Alameda, plus two other members of his inner circle. He faces decades in prison if convicted.

Roos told the jurors that about $10 billion in customer funds “went missing” before FTX and Alameda filed for bankruptcy. Bankman-Fried set up a secret system that allowed Alameda to take billions “out the back door” of FTX and into the hedge fund, using the money for speculative investments, political donations, and the purchase of luxury real estate.

The Seven Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried |

FTX co-founder Gary Wang, who was also the company’s former chief technology officer, testified that Bankman-Fried directed him to create a program that allowed Alameda to tap a $65 billion line of credit from FTX customer funds, Roos told jurors.

Ellison, Wang and former FTX head of engineering Nishad Singh all pleaded guilty to crimes and testified against Bankman-Fried in hopes of leniency when they’re sentenced.

US prosecutor Danielle Sassoon subjected Bankman-Fried to a relentless cross examination, over two days ending Tuesday morning, during which he was frequently vague and evasive. Bankman-Fried responded to scores of her questions that he could not recall or was unsure.

Bankman-Fried’s team will begin their closing statement later Wednesday. The jury could begin deliberating as soon as Thursday.

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