Sam Bankman-Fried will testify at criminal trial, lawyer says


FILE PHOTO: Former FTX Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces fraud charges over the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, leaves following a hearing at Manhattan federal court in New York City, U.S. January 3, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried plans to testify in his own defense at his criminal fraud trial, defense lawyer Mark Cohen said during a telephone hearing on Wednesday.

Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to charges he looted billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to plug losses at his Alameda Research hedge fund, make speculative venture investments, and donate more than $100 million to U.S. political candidates and campaigns.

Three former members of Bankman-Fried's inner circle at FTX and Alameda testified during his trial earlier this month that he directed them to commit fraud.

Prosecutors are expected to rest their case on Thursday after a weeklong break. The defense is then expected to begin presenting its case.

For criminal defendants, taking the stand is risky as it exposes them to probing cross-examination by prosecutors who would come armed with documents, messages and testimony from cooperating witnesses that they can use to attack his credibility.

But Bankman-Fried's penchant for risk, his willingness to speak publicly about the charges, and prosecutors' unflattering portrayal of him at the trial so far suggested he may bet that he can convince at least one juror that he did not intend to commit fraud, legal experts told Reuters.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen and Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Daniel Wallis)

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

   

Next In Tech News

Super Tuesday to test resurgent crypto industry's political might
Era of 3D video chat inches closer with demo at Barcelona fair
Is AI about to end the need to learn foreign languages?
Messenger app Signal now lets you find people by name, not number
Review: ‘Helldivers 2’ accomplishes what bigger-name games couldn’t
Court says EU must pay a fraction of legal fees sought by Qualcomm
X, ByteDance, Booking.com could face tough EU rules
What are the credible alternatives to ChatGPT?
This AI tool is capable of generating a video game from a simple image
Surge in Wendy’s complaints exposes limits to consumer tolerance of unstable prices

Others Also Read