Sam Bankman-Fried’s testimony

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Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, testified in his own defense during his criminal fraud trial. His testimony spanned three days, from Friday to Tuesday, and was marked by intense cross-examination by the prosecution. Bankman-Fried is facing multiple fraud charges related to the collapse of his cryptocurrency firm FTX, and if convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 110 years in prison23. During his testimony, Bankman-Fried denied committing fraud and stealing from FTX's customers. He acknowledged making "a number of small mistakes and a number of larger mistakes," citing "significant oversights" that hurt FTX's customers. He also claimed that he learned about problems with FTX's financials as he went along and said he didn't know the extent to which FTX and Alameda were actually working together76. Bankman-Fried spent much of his time on the stand blaming his former top lieutenants for the downfall of his crypto empire. He particularly targeted Caroline Ellison, who ran Alameda and is also Bankman-Fried's ex-girlfriend, expressing concern about whether Alameda was properly hedged given the crash in crypto prices1. He also blamed Gary Wang, a co-founder who previously testified on behalf of the prosecution, and Can Sun, who was FTX's general counsel1. However, the prosecution pointed out contradictions between what Bankman-Fried said in public and what he said and did in private. They continued to build a case that he orchestrated one of the largest financial frauds in history. The prosecution also showed evidence of Bankman-Fried's luxurious lifestyle in the Bahamas, allegedly paid for illegally with customer and investor money36. Despite the intense cross-examination, Bankman-Fried's defense lawyer, Mark Cohen, allowed him to lay out his defense. Bankman-Fried insisted that he did not defraud anyone or take any customer funds. He also stated that the biggest mistake he made was not having "a dedicated risk management team"6.
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