A young entrepreneur who made mistakes while running a crypto empire or a liar who stole and used people’s money to enrich himself? In the first hours of Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried’s six-week trial, that was the tone between his defense counsel and the prosecution.
The former FTX CEO is facing a total of seven charges related to fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. He could spend over 100 years in prison if convicted.
At the trial, SBF appeared to be focused on his defense strategy, constantly checking his laptop and attorneys’ paperwork. As his defense counsel delivered an opening statement, he turned his focus toward the 12 jurors who will decide if SBF intentionally misused FTX customer funds or if mistakes were made in good faith.
Two witnesses testified on the first day of the trial: Marc Juilliard, a French trader who lost 4 Bitcoin (BTC) worth over $100,000 in November 2022, and Adam Yedidia, a personal friend of SBF and a former employee of Alameda Research and FTX.
FTX advertising campaigns, celebrity endorsements and SBF’s tweets are among the evidence being used by prosecutors to prove that SBF lied to customers while defrauding them.
According to the defense, however, there’s nothing wrong with hiring Tom Brady for an advertisement and filing for bankruptcy during a market downturn.
The third day of the trial begins around 10:00 am Eastern Time in a federal court in lower Manhattan, New York City. It will feature Yedidia’s second appearance in the trial, as well as FTX co-founder Gary Wang, who is a key witness.
Cointelegraph is on the ground in New York with the latest updates on the trial. Follow live updates here.