Sam Bankman Fried cryptocurrency fraud trial prepares for opening arguments | Sam Bankman Fried

The Sam Bankman-Fried cryptocurrency fraud trial entered its second day on Wednesday morning, with the ultimate part of jury choice held earlier than both sides makes opening arguments.

Bankman Fried, founding father of the now-defunct cryptocurrency alternate FTX and sister hedge fund Alameda Analysis, is charged with a number of economic crimes surrounding the stunning collapse of his corporations late final 12 months.

Bankman Freed, who faces seven prices, is accused of diverting billions of {dollars} of FTX shopper funds into dangerous trades in Alameda and unlawful purchases. The Manhattan District Legal professional’s Workplace alleged that he used shopper cash to finance booming bills in Alameda and seize costly actual property. He’s additionally accused of distributing thousands and thousands to political candidates in hopes of currying favor with crypto-friendly representatives.

The trial is scheduled to final six weeks, with prosecutors arguing of their case that Bankman Fried dedicated widespread fraud when he recklessly spent clients’ cash. Court docket filings from Bankman-Fried’s attorneys point out that the protection plans partially to argue that the founder was misled by his authorized counsel at FTX and had no felony intent in his actions.

A number of former associates of Bankman-Fried are anticipated to testify at FTX after beforehand pleading responsible to felony prices and changing into witnesses for the prosecution. Star witness is predicted to be Carolyn Ellison, his on-and-off girlfriend and one-day boss of Alameda.

Potential jurors filed into the midtown Manhattan courtroom at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, the place Decide Lewis Kaplan sought to finalize a twelve-person jury together with six alternates.

The primary day of jury choice acquired off to a gradual begin. Bankman-Fried was not within the courtroom earlier than the proceedings started; Kaplan revealed shortly thereafter that Donald Trump’s civil trial throughout the alley had derailed his arrival.

“We are able to thank the delay for what’s taking place within the different courtroom close by,” Kaplan mentioned. After Bankman-Fried arrived, potential jurors confirmed up on the courtroom at 10:37 a.m., and so the elimination course of started.

A number of potential committee members mentioned they’d learn in regards to the situation. One man mentioned he heard an evaluation of the case on Joe Rogan’s present, prompting nervous groans within the press room.

One girl mentioned she could not attend as a result of it could battle together with her work on the upcoming Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador, which she could not miss.

One other girl mentioned her employer invested cash in FTX and Alameda. Did they make or lose cash? Kaplan requested. “You lose cash,” she replied.

One man claimed he was unable to attend attributable to monetary difficulties. Particularly, the person mentioned he “simply purchased a cello, and I am paying $600 a month.”

Because the jury choice course of slowed, Bankman-Fried appeared more and more relaxed within the courtroom. In the course of the afternoon listening to, he turned repeatedly to look at potential jurors.

Bankman Fried’s look was unusually elegant. His signature unruly hair was tamed with a contemporary haircut, and he wore a grey swimsuit.

He maintains his innocence. Bankman-Fried will stay jailed all through the six-week trial, after Decide Kaplan revoked his bail in August on the grounds that he was witness tampering by means of his quite a few statements to the media.

A number of former FTX executives are anticipated to take the stand for the prosecution. The prosecution’s star witness is predicted to be Caroline Ellison – his on-off girlfriend and one-time boss of Alameda.

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