FTX Founder SBF Testifies Without Jury’s Presence

FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) testifies in court over the ongoing fraud trial he is facing after Judge Lewis Kaplan sent all the jurors home.
FTX Founder SBF Testifies Without Jury’s Presence

On Thursday, the founder of the defunct FTX exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried aka SBF, testified in the ongoing fraud trial against him.

As Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered, Sam must appear in court without the presence of the jury because most of his testimony will be repetition of what the court has heard over the last three weeks.

In response to Judge Kaplan’s concern about document preservation, SBF stated that both FTX and the Alameda team were using encrypted communications apps such as Signal to protect themselves from any security risks and attacks. These apps were appropriate because they deleted communications automatically and were used for chat rather than transferring sensitive information, according to him.

Sam stated that he believed it was FTX’s counsel and lawyer’s decision to structure promissory notes as loans rather than dividends. Furthermore, the former FTX founder stated that he “skimmed” the Terms of Service drafted by in-house and outside counsel for the FTX exchange.

When his lawyers asked if Alameda’s borrowing from FTX was legal under the exchange’s Terms of Service, SBF replied, “Yes, under many circumstances.”

During cross-examination, SBF often delivered evasive responses, either indicating ‘he is not fully sure’ or unable to recall his previous encounters with the team and lawyers. Even so, Judge Kaplan had to step in and tell him to “listen to the question” and simply answer the “question directly.”

As a result, when questioned if Alameda could spend FTX funds, he replied, “I wouldn’t phrase it that way, but I think the answer to the question I think you’re trying to ask is yes.”

The first day of SBF’s evidence focused on FTX and Alameda Research’s communication and document-retention procedures. While Judge Kaplan is sending the jurors home, he will decide if the testimony can be repeated in front of the jury. The FTX founder will continue to testify before the jury on Friday.

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