Over the past three weeks, former employees and friends of Sam Bankman-Fried have testified that he orchestrated a scheme to misappropriate billions of dollars in client funds from his FTX cryptocurrency exchange, which collapsed last year.
Witnesses Mr. Bankman-Fried, 31, has painted a picture of a controlling boss who led them to commit fraud. The FTX founder had known for months that the exchange had no way of repaying at least $8 billion in customer money that was used to buy luxury real estate, invest in other crypto companies, make campaign contributions and repay trade creditors. A company controlled by Mr. Bankman-Fried.
Mr. Here are highlights of testimony from several prosecution witnesses — including Bankman-Fried’s employee and on-again, off-again girlfriend Caroline Ellison.
The first prosecutor is Adam Yedidia, a former FTX developer who is Mr. Became a close friend of Bankmann-Fried and lived with him and other associates in the Bahamas.
Mr., who has not been charged with any crime and is not testifying under immunity. Mr. Yedidia said FTX and sister crypto trading firm Alameda Research knew they were on thin ice. Bankman-Fried said.
Mr. Mr. Bankman-Fried had a conversation on their paddle tennis court. Yedidia narrated. Mr. Bankman-Fried told him that FTX “was bulletproof last year, but this year we’re bulletproof” and that it would take six months to three years to make the company “bulletproof again.” Yedidia said.
Ms. Ellison, who ran the Alameda and was Mr. Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend, was the government’s star witness. He described the close relationship between Alameda and FTX, Mr. Including several instances of Bankman-Fried FTX’s use of customer deposits.
Ms., who has pleaded guilty to fraud charges and is cooperating with prosecutors. Mr. Ellison said he was interested in buying back FTX shares from rival crypto exchange Finance. Bankman-Fried said. She was apprehensive about the move because she knew FTX would have to borrow $1 billion in client funds for the transaction.
“That’s right, I think it’s very important and we have to do it,” said Mr. Bankman-Fried told Ms. Ellison, according to her testimony.
Mr. An insight into Bankman-Fried’s mindset is Ms. Ellison offered, and described their relationship and his somewhat unorthodox view that the rules about not lying and not stealing were less important than what he considered actions for a greater good.
Mr. FTX co-founder who pleaded guilty in the case. Wang agreed to cooperate with the lawyer, Mr. Bankman-Fried told the jury that the platform instructed her to add features to the exchange that gave Alameda an advantage. “Ultimately, it was Sam’s decision,” he testified.
The software-speaking coder spent most of his time on the stand explaining the intricacies of FTX’s computer code, which supported lawyers’ contention that Alameda was deliberately given special privileges on the platform so FTX could use customer deposits as pawn. .
Mr. Mr. Wang at the high school math camp. Bankman-Fried and they were classmates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before founding FTX in 2019.
Former FTX executive Mr. Singh, Mr. Bankman-Fried described lavish spending — including large real estate purchases and political donations — as bankrolled through FTX customer deposits.
Mr. Singh said he gave other associates access to his bank accounts to make political donations in his name, Mr. Bankman-Fried’s younger brother, Gabe, ran a non-profit group against plagues. At one point, when a credit wire didn’t go through, Gabe Bankman-Fried sent an assistant to the Bahamas “with checks from my bank account.”
Advocates Mr. Singh and Mr. They also showed an email exchange between Bankman-Fried’s mother, Barbara Fried, who is receiving $1 million from FTX for her nonprofit Mind the Gap. Ms. Fried, a Stanford law professor, said Mr. Singh suggested a donation in his name “because we don’t want to create an impression that funding MTG is a family affair, as opposed to a joint effort by many (including some mysterious man Nishad Singh :)).
Can be the sun
A former top FTX lawyer, Mr. Sun, Mr. Bankman-Fried testified that she pushed him to find legal justification for repeatedly misappropriating clients’ money.
Mr. At Bankman-Fried’s insistence, Mr. Sun said. But after getting an agreement that prosecutors would not pursue charges against him, Mr. Sun said he reiterated to Mr Bankman-Fried that none of those options were supported by “the facts”. Mr. Bankman-Fried responded by saying, “Something like, ‘Understood,'” Mr. Son testified.
A few days before FTX filed for bankruptcy in November, Mr. Prosecutors played a clip from an interview given by Bankman-Fried. In that interview, Mr. As an explanation of what happened to Bankman-Fried, FTX’s customer money, Mr. Sun offered one of the theoretical options.