SBF Moves Against State Witnesses Hours Before Trial Starts

October 3, 2023 12:52 pm Comments

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal team wasted no time in pushing back against state witnesses set to testify in the fallen CEO’s trial which begins on Tuesday.

Lawyers for the embattled Bankman-Fried argued that the two-way remote testimony of one former FTX customer violates the Sixth Amendment rights of the disgraced co-founder of the now-defunct FTX exchange.

Attorneys for Bankman-Fried assert that the witness must show up in court so that their client can see him face-to-face.

Inner City Press shared the corresponding court documents and reports: “At 2 AM before jury selection, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have filed opposition to any “testimony from FTX customer witnesses regarding their understanding of how FTX would use their assets… & alleged coconspirators’ interpretation of statements made by SBF.” Hmm.”

One member of the crypto community provided a list of witnesses:

“Set to testify against Sam are: Caroline Ellison, CEO of Alameda and Former Intimate Partner. Gary Wang, CTO of FTX/Alameda and Close Associate of Sam. Nishad Singh, Director of Engineering at FTX. Andria van der Merwe, Economist (Expert Witness).  Peter Easton, Professor (Expert Witness). 

Those testifying in Sam’s favor include: Thomas Bishop, Expert in Forensic Accounting. Brian Kim, Expert in Data Analytics/Forensics. Joseph Pimbley, Financial Consultant Expert. Andrew Di Wu, Professor and Finance/Tech Expert. Notably absent from the witness list: Sam Trabucco, Dan Friedberg, Ryan Salame.”

Daily Coin provided this background information:

The development comes after the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on September 30 and submitted a motion in limine to permit the Ukrainian witness to testify remotely, arguing that his circumstances were unique, making international travel for testimony even “more problematic.”

According to the DOJ, the witness has lost a substantial part of his savings to the collapsed FTX exchange.

CoinDesk’s Nikhilesh De broke down his expectations of the long-awaited Sam Bankman-Fried trial on the Unchained podcast with Laura Shin.

TechCrunch journalist Jacquelyn Melinek offered this perspective: “I interviewed a handful of legal experts on what to expect for SBF’s trial re: witnesses, evidence, relationships, potential outcomes, etc. The TLDR? ‘The odds seem to be stacked against him at this point.'”

According to The Block:

Bankman-Fried’s counsel also filed a separate letter on Monday requesting clarification on the court’s previous granting of the DOJ’s request to preclude argument concerning whether FTX was regulated within the United States and FTX.US’s compliance.

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