April 22, 2024
Sam Bankman-Fried takes the stand, but without jurors


Sam Bankman-Fried has been on trial on charges of fraud and money laundering for just over four weeks, and the case looks like it’s finally drawing to a close. The prosecution began its closing statements on Wednesday.

Assistant U.S. attorney Nicolas Roos stood in front of jurors from 10 a.m. ET until the court broke for lunch around 1 p.m., reiterating the prosecution’s case: Bankman-Fried lied, made false promises and is responsible for billions of dollars lost for thousands of investors on FTX. And on top of that, Bankman-Fried had many opportunities to come clean but didn’t.

At one especially dramatic moment, Roos pointed at the defendant and said, “Who is responsible? This man: Samuel Bankman-Fried.” The former CEO of FTX did not look back, but he tilted his head slightly.

The prosecutor emphasized how it was wrong of FTX to use customers’ funds without their knowledge or approval. “It was a universal view: Customer funds belong to customers and can’t be used,” Roos said, adding that even FTX’s terms of service stated that users’ deposits belonged to users.

According to the evidence, there was a “huge difference between what FTX said it had for customers versus what it actually had” and how billions of dollars were missing, Roos said. “This is not about complicated crypto [terms]. It’s about deception. It’s about lies. It’s about stealing, greed.”


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