Two weeks into the trial of crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried, jurors have been inundated with evidence that looks, for now, pretty damning.
The prosecution has brought out their big guns in week two of the trial, including Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend and CEO of Alameda Research. Ellison’s testimony has been crucial, as she has offered a narrative of events in which virtually every decision at both Alameda and FTX came down to Bankman-Fried.
Another key witness was Christian Drappi, a former software developer at Alameda. Drappi recounted an all-hands meeting at the firm’s Hong Kong office on November 9, two days before the entire business folded. In the meeting, Ellison admits that the decision to repay loans with customer funds was “Sam’s, I guess.”
The prosecution has also presented evidence of alleged Chinese bribes and Thai prostitutes. Ellison testified that she believes Bankman-Fried ordered Alameda to wire “in the ballpark of $100 million” to two crypto wallets in China. She said she believed the funds were a bribe to get Chinese officials to unfreeze two crypto trading accounts worth about $1 billion that Alameda held in China. She also described a failed scheme to move the funds out of China by using accounts belonging to “Thai prostitutes” to set up trades that would drain Alameda’s China accounts and transfer value to the sex workers’ accounts, where Alameda could reclaim them.
The defense has yet to call its own witnesses, and it is unclear whether Bankman-Fried will testify in his own defense. However, the prosecution’s case has been strong so far, and it will be difficult for the defense to overcome the evidence that has been presented.
The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried has been one of the most closely watched trials in the cryptocurrency industry. Bankman-Fried was once one of the most respected figures in the industry, but he has fallen from grace since the collapse of FTX.
The trial has revealed some shocking details about Bankman-Fried’s personal and professional life. For example, it has been revealed that he dated his former girlfriend and CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, while they were both working at FTX. This raises questions about potential conflicts of interest.
The trial has also revealed that Bankman-Fried allegedly used customer funds to repay loans and bribe Chinese officials. This has outraged many people in the cryptocurrency community, who feel that Bankman-Fried betrayed their trust.
The trial is still ongoing, but it is clear that Bankman-Fried is in a lot of trouble. If he is convicted, he could face up to 110 years in prison.