The current trial isn’t looking favorable for Bankman, with his frequent fallback being, “I don’t recall/remember.” Today, when Judge Kaplan questioned him about the $8 billion discrepancy, SBF drew another blank.
SBF Failed To Give Clear Answers
Adam Yedidia said that he found a mistake in the accounts in summer 2022 and told the crypto business owner that Alameda Research owed a huge $8 billion to FTX.
However, when Bankman-Fried was asked about this today, he strongly disagreed and said, “I don’t remember him saying that.” This made Judge Kaplan quite annoyed because he felt Bankman-Fried wasn’t giving clear answers.
The courtroom got tense when Judge Kaplan interrupted, asking, “Mr. Bankman-Fried, did he tell you in words or in substance after the bug was fixed that Alameda still owed $8 billion?” Everyone was on the edge of their seats, waiting for Bankman-Fried’s answer. “I don’t recall it being on or around that day in words or substance,” was Bankman-Fried’s somewhat uncertain reply. Judge Kaplan quickly said, “I didn’t ask you about that day.”
Realizing his mistake, Bankman-Fried said, “Oh I apologize. Eventually, yes.” But he still maintained that he only really became aware of the $8 billion issue later in 2022.
When AUSA put forth a question, it was clear they were taking aim at Bankman-Fried’s integrity. “Is it fair to say you were not transparent with customers regarding the risks of Alameda’s use of their funds?”
Bankman-Fried, in what appeared to many as a dodge, replied, “To that phrasing of the question, I do not agree.” His evasion only intensified the criticism surrounding his actions and character.
Bankman-Fried Questioned On Ties With Bahamas Officials
Sam Bankman-Fried faced intense questioning about his seemingly close ties with Bahamian officials, given the location of the exchange prior to its downfall in November 2022.
In the second day of his fraud trial’s cross-examination, prosecutor Danielle Sassoon aimed to connect the special treatments Bankman-Fried provided to Bahamian officials with his controversial decision to allow FTX customers in the Bahamas to access their funds, even after withdrawals for other customers were stopped around November 9, 2022.
Earlier in the trial, ex-FTX executive Gary Wang, who admitted to fraud charges and decided to collaborate with the prosecution, claimed that after FTX’s U.S. bankruptcy on November 11, 2022, Bankman-Fried aimed to move funds to the Bahamas, believing that the local authorities might allow him to remain at the top. When asked about paying off Bahamian national debt, SBF said, “I don’t remember.”
The government concluded its rigorous cross-examination of Sam Bankman-Fried, questioning the authenticity of his claims that he had no intentions to deceive FTX’s customers, lenders, and investors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon scrutinized Bankman-Fried’s statements over a span of two days. Now, under the redirect examination, it’s Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, who is leading the questioning. The defense is anticipated to conclude once Bankman-Fried finishes his testimony.