FTX's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is set to testify as early as Thursday in his criminal trial,
making a direct appeal to jurors to contest allegations of fraud related to the collapse of his once-renowned cryptocurrency exchange.
Following FTX's bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried actively voiced his stance through interviews, tweets, and even a Substack newsletter, emphasizing his innocence. Contrary to his claims, insiders during the trial testified that he was deeply involved in the alleged fraud at FTX.
The defense aims to call a few witnesses in support of Bankman-Fried, notably financial services expert Joseph Pimbley from PF2 Securities. They also intend to introduce evidence highlighting inconsistencies in testimonies from executives Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh, and Gary Wang, who had earlier testified against Bankman-Fried after admitting to their own crimes.
The prosecution, on the other hand, is expected to conclude its witness testimonies soon, with FBI agent Mark Troiano being their final witness.
Interestingly, a trend has emerged in high-profile white-collar crime cases, where defendants increasingly choose to testify, anticipating that jurors might research about them during the trial. An attorney monitoring the case highlighted how today's juries are influenced by the celebrity status of defendants, referencing examples like Elizabeth Holmes, suggesting that jurors often breach instructions and research defendants online.
The defense's main aim is to establish that Bankman-Fried is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, while the U.S. Department of Justice seeks to prove the opposite.
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