Star witness to take stand in US crypto king trial

Star witness to take stand in US crypto king trial

Sam Bankman-Fried's former girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, walks through security at Manhattan Federal Court on October 10, 2023, in New York
Sam Bankman-Fried's former girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, walks through security at Manhattan Federal Court on October 10, 2023, in New York. Photo: Bryan R. Smith / AFP
Source: AFP

The star witness in the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried arrived at a New York federal court on Tuesday where she is expected to give damning evidence against the one time crypto wunderkind.

Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried's former business partner and girlfriend, is expected to give key testimony that will describe how he committed fraud on a massive scale.

The 31-year-old Bankman-Fried, known as "SBF," has been charged with seven counts of fraud, embezzlement and criminal conspiracy, and if convicted could face a de facto life sentence of more than 100 years in prison.

In November 2022, his cryptocurrency exchange platform imploded, unable to cope with massive withdrawal requests from customers panicked to learn that some of FTX's funds had been committed to risky operations by Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried's personal hedge fund.

Read also

Disgraced crypto king pleads 'good faith' in US fraud trial

Ellison was CEO at Alameda and has pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud charges and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution.

She is expected to give details on how the Alameda investment company used the FTX platform to cover massive losses, even as Bankman-Fried was assuring clients that their money was safe.

But Bankman-Fried's lawyers will argue that their client had little handle on the inner workings of Alameda's business and point blame at Ellison for the alleged fraud.

While awaiting trial in August, Bankman-Fried was ordered out of house arrest and jailed after prosecutors alleged that the former FTX boss had leaked Ellison's diary entries to the New York Times.

Zixiao "Gary" Wang, another former close associate of Bankman-Fried's, on Friday described his FTX co-founder as willing to break the law and lie to enable the company and Alameda to post strong growth.

Source: AFP

Authors:
AFP avatar

AFP AFP text, photo, graphic, audio or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. AFP news material may not be stored in whole or in part in a computer or otherwise except for personal and non-commercial use. AFP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in any AFP news material or in transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages whatsoever. As a newswire service, AFP does not obtain releases from subjects, individuals, groups or entities contained in its photographs, videos, graphics or quoted in its texts. Further, no clearance is obtained from the owners of any trademarks or copyrighted materials whose marks and materials are included in AFP material. Therefore you will be solely responsible for obtaining any and all necessary releases from whatever individuals and/or entities necessary for any uses of AFP material.

Online view pixel