The defense rests in Sam Bankman-Fried criminal trial

NEW YORK — In his final hours testifying at his own criminal fraud trial Tuesday, Sam Bankman-Fried faced the prosecution’s grilling with aThe former crypto mogul wrapped up his risky gambit testifying in his own defense by insisting he did not know about the alleged fraud at the core of the government’s case against him until last fall, just two months before his business empire collapsed.

In his own retelling, he only learned that his hedge fund, Alameda Research, had spent $8 billion in customer deposits from his crypto trading platform, FTX, by overhearing a conversation among his employees in September 2022. He said when he confronted them, he was told to stop asking questions and that they were busy.

Bankman-Fried’s version of events diverged starkly from the story that three of his former top deputies told in the opening weeks of the trial. They said they committed financial crimes at his direction in testimony they provided under cooperation agreements with the prosecution. headtopics.com

Bankman-Fried said Tuesday that he didn’t seek to hold any Alameda employees accountable after learning they spent billions of dollars in FTX customer deposits. Asked by Sassoon if he had fired anyone from the trading firm whom he believed to be responsible, he said, “No.

But Sassoon continues to marshal prosecutors’ trove of records to elicit some damaging admissions. This included evidence suggesting the former crypto mogul cultivated a humble, do-gooder persona that obscured an appetite for luxury and a disdain for colleagues, followers and policymakers. headtopics.com

Sassoon noted on Monday that Bankman-Fried spent roughly $15 million on private jet travel, and she got him to acknowledge authorizing private planes to fly Amazon packages to FTX’s offices in the Bahamas. Another revelation: Private messages in which Bankman-Fried dismissed government regulators with a vulgarity and disparaged a subset of his followers as “dumb motherf—–s” even as he publicly courted their trust.

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