Federal jury deliberations have begun in the criminal prosecution of disgraced cryptocurrency tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried. It is claimed that Bankman-Fried stole $10 billion from his clients and lied to investors and lenders.
At approximately 3:15 p.m. on the last day of the month-long trial of Bankman-Fried, 31, on fraud and conspiracy charges in Manhattan federal court, the 12-person jury began deliberations.
Federal prosecutor Danielle Sassoon claimed in her “rebuttal” to Bankman-Fried’s closing statement, “He thought he could fool reporters, the public, and now you.”
During his four days on the stand, Sassoon questioned the one-time tech industry darling about his repeated assertions of “not recalling” business actions.
Prosecutors on Thursday ridiculed Bankman-Fried’s defense, in which he claimed that his hedge fund Alameda Research “borrowed” billions from his defunct exchange FTX owing to “oversights in risk management” rather than illegal action.
In her summing up, Sassoon said, “You can’t stroll into a jewelry store, steal a diamond necklace, and then walk out and say there was no security guard.”
Because “he knew what he was doing was unlawful,” he decided against hiring a risk officer.
Federal prosecutors have described the numerous false statements made by Bankman-Fried when he was CEO of FTX as a “pyramid of lies” aimed to cover up his role in arranging a $10 billion crime.
The prosecution has “unfairly” tried to portray Bankman-Fried as “some sort of monster” who set out to steal from his clients, according to Bankman-Fried’s attorney Mark Cohen. Cohen claims that Bankman-Fried founded two “real, valid, imaginative enterprises” before their collapse.
Unless they reach a verdict earlier, the panel’s nine women and three men will likely continue deliberations until 8 o’clock tonight.
Federal court judge Lewis Kaplan has offered pizza delivery and a ride home in a luxury vehicle.
Bankman-Fried faces seven charges, including wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering, and a maximum life sentence if convicted.