Sam Bankman-Fried, the defendant in a trial for fraud and money laundering, faced his final moments on the stand as his defense team made a 35-minute last-ditch effort to present him as someone acting in good faith. In a strategic move, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, took a different approach and focused on portraying his client as a person who had the best intentions.
Bankman-Fried’s defense team made a final effort to establish his goodwill, portraying him as someone committed to building a superior product and distancing himself from any fraudulent activities. However, the prosecution’s relentless questioning has put his claims to the test.
Painting a Picture of Good Intentions
Bankman-Fried, the majority stakeholder in the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX and its sister trading firm Alameda Research, spoke about his devotion to building a superior product compared to competitors. He emphasized his belief that success came from offering a better service rather than engaging in fraudulent activities.
Throughout the trial, the prosecution relentlessly questioned Bankman-Fried. However, during Tuesday’s cross-examination by his own defense, he appeared slightly swaying on the stand, seemingly weighed down by the proceedings. Despite this, he spoke more openly than before and shared his perspective on his involvement with Alameda’s operations.
Distancing Himself from Day-to-Day Trading
Bankman-Fried vehemently denied being directly involved in the day-to-day trading operations of Alameda or its “core operations.” Instead, he emphasized his concern for the company’s leadership at the time. He expressed a desire to participate in venture investments and decision-making processes related to hedging and other strategic areas.
As the trial reaches its closing stages, the jury will consider the arguments presented by both the defense and the prosecution. The fate of Sam Bankman-Fried rests in their hands, following weeks of intense courtroom proceedings.