Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled founder of FTX, took the stand for a third day, revealing insights into his management style and the tumultuous relationships that marked the last days of the cryptocurrency exchange. The prosecution meticulously dissected Bankman-Fried’s statements, exposing contradictions and pressing the once revered crypto mogul to admit his role in the company’s downfall.
SBF’s Shaky Testimony
As Bankman-Fried navigated through the questioning, he often found himself in a bind, struggling to recall past statements and actions. The prosecution brought forth a plethora of evidence, ranging from emails and tweets to congressional testimonies, all aimed at unraveling the narrative that FTX was a haven for investors.
Bankman-Fried’s responses were fraught with uncertainty. “I am not sure” became a recurring theme as he attempted to distance himself from the decision-making processes at both FTX and Alameda. He admitted to having a role but quickly highlighted that he was not the sole judge of the companies’ fates.
Throughout the trial, the prosecution sought to paint a picture of Bankman-Fried as a meticulous architect of his public image. His signature shorts and T-shirt look, once seen as a hallmark of his unconventional approach, came under scrutiny. Assistant US Attorney Danielle Sassoon pressed on, questioning whether his laid-back demeanor was a calculated move to cultivate a specific image.
Bankman-Fried conceded, acknowledging his efforts to shape how the world saw him. However, as the questions delved deeper into the workings of FTX and Alameda, the facade began to crumble. The court caught a glimpse of a man who was deeply involved in the intricacies of his empire, contradicting his previous attempts to portray himself as a hands-off leader.
Bankman-Fried’s Moment of Truth
Despite the evasions and the memory lapses, moments of clarity emerged. Bankman-Fried admitted to his role in making venture investments worth billions, a decision he claimed as his own. He acknowledged the existence of a massive credit line for Alameda, far surpassing what other market makers had access to.
Moreover, he showed signs of understanding the gravity of the situation, admitting that he was “stunned” upon discovering the $8 billion loan from FTX customer deposits to Alameda. However, he maintained that the hedge fund had sufficient assets to cover the debt until days before both companies collapsed.
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