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Historic Trial of Sam Bankman Fried: Jury Selection Begins in FTX Founder’s Wire Fraud and Money Laundering Case

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Gherardo Fiorenzo
Gherardo Fiorenzo is an Italian author with a unique perspective shaped by his experiences in Italy and the US. His thought-provoking articles, short stories, and reviews explore the intersections of language, identity, and culture.

The Historic Trial of Sam Bankman Fried Begins in New York City

The trial of Sam Bankman Fried, the former CEO of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, began today in New York City. He is facing charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Overview of the Trial

The trial started with jury selection at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan courthouse on 500 Pearl Street at 10 a.m. New York time. Chief District Judge Louis A. Kaplan is presiding over the case, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Ross leading the prosecution and Mark Cohen leading the defense.

Live Updates from the Courtroom

  • Sam Bankman Fried entered the court with five lawyers.
  • No plea offer was made by the public prosecutor, as confirmed by the defense lawyers.
  • Judge Kaplan suggests that the case may be decided within a few weeks, instead of the expected six weeks.
  • Jurors are instructed not to read any publications or news reports related to the case.
  • SBF is charged with defrauding customers and investors.

Key Points about the Jury Selection

  • One potential juror works for a company that invested in both FTX and Alameda.
  • Several jurors have seen Michael Lewis’ 60 Minutes interview about Sam Bankman Fried.
  • One potential juror previously worked at Silvergate, a cryptocurrency-focused bank that suspended operations shortly after FTX declared bankruptcy.
  • Several companies, including Trabucco, Sequoia Capital, BlockFi, Genesis, Skybridge, Anchorage, Binance, Celsius, Silvergate, and Signature Bank, may be mentioned during the trial.

Other Important Points

Mark Cohen, a former federal prosecutor turned defense lawyer, confirmed that there were no plea discussions with the government. Executives, including Carolyn Ellison, the president of Sam’s hedge fund, have made deals with the government to testify against Sam Bankman Fried. Other potential witnesses include Gary Wang, Nishad Singh, and Daniel Fried.

Ryan Salama, the former CEO of FTX, has refused to testify against SBF despite his guilty plea. Speculation suggests that Sam Trabucco, the Co-CEO of SAM, may be a surprise witness for the prosecution.

Judge Kaplan emphasized that jurors are not allowed to make public comments or read media reports about the individuals involved in the case. He also hinted at the possibility of a quicker ruling, as his cases often take less time than expected.

If convicted, Sam Bankman Fried could face life in prison. The evidence submitted by FTX’s current CEO, John Ray III, and key witness testimony will play a crucial role in the jury’s decision.

The court session ended with the selection of 50 potential jurors, 18 of whom will be chosen as the main jurors and alternates tomorrow. The defense and prosecution will make their opening remarks at tomorrow’s hearing.

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