Federal prosecutors slammed Sam Bankman-Fried Wednesday for building a “pyramid of deceit” as he stole $10 billion of his customers’ funds — before claiming on the witness stand to “not recall” details of the alleged scheme.“He told a story and he lied to you,” prosecutor Nicholas Roos told jurors during closing arguments at Bankman-Fried’s month-long trial in Manhattan federal court, where the fallen tech golden boy is charged with defrauding customers and investors of his now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX.“To believe the defendant’s story you’d have to ignore all the evidence,” said Roos during a four-hour closing statement, often punctuating his arguments by pointing at the former crypto king, who sat calmly at the defense table in a gray suit and purple tie.Bankman-Fried, 31, admitted during four days on the stand that his associated hedge fund Alameda Research had an unheard-of setup allowing it to “borrow” a fortune from FTX before both companies collapsed in November 2022. But the MIT grad insisted that the alleged theft was “permissible” under the exchange’s terms of service — and said that he “did not recall” ordering Alameda to have the special ability to siphon off billions from FTX users.“You’d have to believe that the defendant, from MIT, was clueless,” Roos told the jury. “You know it’s not true.”Roos urged jurors to find Bankman-Fried guilty of seven fraud and conspiracy counts he’s facing for allegedly spending customer money on goodies like a $35 million Bahamas penthouse, as well as to repay a roughly $10 billion debt that Alameda owned to creditors.Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange — which at one point was worth more than $40 billion — was in fact a “pyramid of deceit built by the defendant on a foundation of lies and false promises, all to get money,” the prosecutor charged.“That’s fraud,” Roos added. “It’s stealing, plain and simple.”The prosecutor started his closing statement by bringing up the thousands of people who were filled with overwhelming anxiety when they tried in vain to withdraw their “nest eggs” from FTX.“Who was responsible? This man, Samuel Bankman-Fried,” Roos said, pointing at the crypto mogul, who sat calmly at the defense table between his lawyers.“What happened? He spent his customers’ money and he lied to them about it,” the prosecutor charged.The disgraced crypto magnate’s claims on the stand conflicted with trial testimony from four of his former lieutenants — including his ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison — who told jurors that Bankman-Fried called the shots at Alameda and directed FTX’s top engineer to give the company secret “backdoor” access to FTX customer funds.Bankman-Fried’s attorneys are expected to give their own closing statement Wednesday afternoon.The jury is likely to begin deliberations on Thursday.If convicted, Bankman-Fried could get what amounts to a life sentence behind bars.
01 Kasım 2023 - 22:05
Sam Bankman-Fried built ‘pyramid of deceit,’ feds say in closing arguments: ‘He lied to you’
Federal prosecutors slammed Sam Bankman-Fried Wednesday for building a “pyramid of deceit” as he stole $10 billion of his customers’ funds — before claiming on the witness stand t…
01 Kasım 2023 - 22:05