The criminal trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried entered its final stage on Wednesday as the defense and prosecution presented their closing arguments to the jury.
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- “He spent his customers’ money and lied about it. It went to cover expenses, purchase property and to make political donations,” United States Attorney Nicolas Roos told the jury in his closing statement, according to a live blog of the trial from court reporting organization Inner City Press.
- Roos argued that Bankman-Fried used customer assets for the US$2 billion FTX shares buy back from Binance in 2021, spent over US$30 on a million mansion and US$16 million for a house for his parents which “all came from customer money.”
- Bankman-Fried’s lead attorney Mark Cohen in his closing argument tried to present him as a humble entrepreneur who made “terrible mistakes.”
- “Good faith is a complete defense. Mistakes are not a crime,” said Cohen.
- After Cohen’s final remarks, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said that Bankman-Fried will return to court on Thursday for his rebuttal and charges.
- FTX filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. on Nov. 11, 2022, along with over 100 of its affiliates. Bankman-Fried has been charged with seven counts of wire fraud and money laundering and faces a maximum 115 years in prison, if convicted.
- Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial started on Oct. 4. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of defrauding his customers and investors of billions of dollars.
- Jury deliberations begin Thursday, behind closed doors.
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