In the ongoing SBF trial, Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried took the stand and testified that he believed the process of taking FTX deposits through Alameda Research was legal. This testimony sheds light on a critical aspect of his fraud trial and may shape the direction of the case.
Key Testimony in the SBF Fraud Trial
Bankman-Fried’s testimony took place after the jury had been dismissed for the day, with Judge Lewis Kaplan attempting to determine which parts of the testimony should be admissible in the trial. The examination began with questions about communication platforms, particularly Slack and Signal, which the former CEO used before and during his detention.
Further, Bankman-Fried clarified that the company had never experienced a core breach but had concerns about third-party hacks, which led to their use of encrypted platforms like Signal.
However, the pivotal moment in the testimony revolved around a question from his defense attorney, Mark Cohen: “Did you believe taking FTX deposits through Alameda was legal?”
In response, the 31-year-old Bankman-Fried claimed that he did, indicating his belief in the legality of the process.
Background on FTX Deposits Transfer
The trial centers on allegations that Bankman-Fried redirected FTX deposits to Alameda Research, a sister trading firm of the crypto exchange, during a challenging period for FTX in November 2022.
In addition, FTX’s leaked balance sheet unveiled significant discrepancies, including $9 billion in liabilities, $900 million in assets, and entries with a deficit of $8 billion that couldn’t be traced.
In earlier trial testimony, Adam Yedidia, an FTX developer and former MIT roommate of SBF, emphasized that he had discussed this substantial $8 billion deficit with the defendant. Bankman-Fried’s statement that he believed the transfer of FTX deposits to Alameda was legal serves as a critical assertion that could influence his plea of not guilty.
Furthermore, Sam Bankman-Fried’s testimony during his criminal trial, where he expressed his belief in the legality of transferring FTX deposits through Alameda Research, marks a pivotal moment in the case. This statement may play a crucial role in shaping the outcome of his ongoing fraud trial.