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FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Faces Criminal Fraud Trial as Former Customer Shares Testimony

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Ziad Najjar
Ziad Najjar is an Egyptian author who studied business and finance in the United States and has a keen interest in media. He combines his expertise in these fields to create informative and engaging works accessible to a broad audience.

Commodities Broker Testifies Against FTX Founder in Fraud Trial

Introduction

Marc-Antoine Julliard, a commodities broker from London, decided to venture into cryptocurrency trading on FTX in 2021. However, he ended up losing a significant amount of money when the exchange collapsed. Now, Julliard is the prosecution’s key witness in the criminal fraud trial against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Testimony of Marc-Antoine Julliard

In his testimony, Julliard expressed his anxiety when he attempted to withdraw his $100,000 worth of crypto and cash from FTX, only to find out that the funds were inaccessible. He believed that FTX had solid financials and never anticipated that the company would misuse customers’ funds. Julliard’s experience reflects the prosecution’s argument that FTX misled its clients into thinking their money was safe.

Julliard also mentioned that he was attracted to FTX by its association with celebrities and venture funds, as well as extensive media coverage. These factors contributed to his trust in the company.

Defense’s Argument

The defense, on the other hand, seeks to hold customers accountable for their own choices in buying and trading cryptocurrency. Bankman-Fried’s attorney argued that his client did not commit fraud and emphasized that the losses suffered by customers do not necessarily prove fraudulent actions.

The Alleged Fraud and Cover-Up

The prosecution claims that Bankman-Fried orchestrated a scheme that resulted in the theft of over $10 billion from FTX customers. They allege that Bankman-Fried lied to users, investors, and lenders, and used a significant portion of the stolen money for personal gains. The government’s star witness, ex-girlfriend and former CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, is expected to provide evidence of Bankman-Fried’s involvement in the alleged fraud.

The defense argues that Bankman-Fried’s actions were not illegal and that the alleged backdoor in FTX’s code was necessary for the company’s liquidity. They also claim that the three insiders who will testify against Bankman-Fried have signed cooperation agreements with the government.

The government also accuses Bankman-Fried of engaging in a cover-up by backdating contracts and using encrypted messaging apps with auto-delete features to conceal his crimes.

Conclusion

The trial is expected to last six weeks, and if convicted, Bankman-Fried could face severe penalties, including imprisonment. The prosecution aims to prove that FTX misled its customers and that Bankman-Fried was responsible for the fraud. The defense, on the other hand, argues that customers should take responsibility for their investment choices and that Bankman-Fried’s actions were not fraudulent.

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