FTX execs who pleaded guilty are potential witnesses in Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal case

    2023.10.04 | exchangesranking | 1471onlookers

    Many former executives with cryptocurrency exchange FTX or its sister companies are on the list to testify in the United States Justice Department’s criminal case against Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried.

    During jury selection for SBF’s trial on Oct. 3, Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon said former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh and former FTX chief operating officer Constance Wang were among the names of witnesses who may testify against Bankman-Fried. Ellison, Gary Wang and Singh have already pleaded guilty to charges related to their roles in the collapse of FTX, while Ryan Salame — the former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets and the fifth person directly connected to the criminal case — will not testify.

    Other names floated by Sassoon included SkyBridge Capital co-founder Anthony Scaramucci, who has previously criticized SBF’s alleged role in the crypto market downturn of 2022. Judge Lewis Kaplan started proceedings in the SBF criminal trial by asking prospective jurors questions related to the case.

    According to multiple reports from the courthouse, Bankman-Fried appeared for the first time without his signature messy hair, which appeared to have been cut for the first week of the trial. Kaplan confirmed that prosecutors had not offered the former FTX CEO a plea deal in the case and questioned prospective jurors on scheduling, hardships and conflicts of interest. He also issued a warning about avoiding the consumption of media related to the trial. 

    “This case has generated publicity,” said Kaplan, according to reports. “You’re to stay away from it — podcasts, anything. Did any of you watch 60 Minutes on Sunday?” [This likely refers to Michael Lewis’ interview on Bankman-Fried.]

    Related: What has Sam Bankman-Fried been up to in jail?

    At the time of publication, Kaplan had dismissed four out of 12 prospective jurors in the court and said selection would continue the morning of Oct. 4. The trial is expected to last through November, though the judge reportedly said that his cases “rarely take as long as the lawyers think.”

    Opening arguments in the criminal trial are expected to begin on Oct. 4, during which the defense and prosecutors will each take roughly 25 to 40 minutes to address the jury. Bankman-Fried faces seven criminal counts in his first trial, with another five charges to be addressed in a second trial starting in March 2024.

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