Lawyer Questions Sam Bankman-Fried on his Political Donations at Trial – Mark Cohen, the defense attorney for Sam Bankman-Fried, received testimony from the ex-CEO of FTX concerning his association with Caroline Ellison and the political contributions from the cryptocurrency exchange. According to the former FTX CEO, the contributions made in his name were attributed to loans from Alameda Research, aiming to impact U.S. crypto regulation.
Based on courtroom reports from October 27, Bankman-Fried asserted that he had not engaged in discussions about contributions to U.S. politicians with former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh and former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame. He purportedly stated that the donations made under his name were linked to loans from Alameda Research as part of a strategy to influence U.S. governmental cryptocurrency regulation policies.
“I thought policy was important. Congress and the executive branch… Some were [supportive of] FTX for cryptocurrency lobbying. Some, not most.” Cohen also asked Bankman-Fried personal questions that appeared to have no direct relevance to the allegations SBF was facing in court. The defense attorney inquired about the factors that led to the conclusion of Bankman-Fried’s relationship with Ellison.
“She wanted more than I could give,” the former FTX CEO reportedly said, referring to Ellison. “It wasn’t the first time with me.” During her testimony, Ellison said the relationship ended as SBF “wasn’t spending much time” with her. Cohen asked the former FTX CEO the reasons behind his style, with SBF replying his hair was the result of him being “lazy” while he found wearing shorts and T-shirts on most occasions “comfortable.”
In earlier testimony on October 27, the former CEO reportedly rejected allegations of defrauding FTX users by steering Alameda’s efforts, enabling the company to utilize customer funds. Former FTX chief technology officer Gary Wang and others provided testimony asserting that SBF had granted Alameda the capability to trade with more funds than it possessed.
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Bankman-Fried’s testimony is expected to conclude by early next week after undergoing cross-examination by U.S. Department of Justice attorneys. Unless any motions or legal complications arise, the court will likely instruct the jury to commence deliberations on the seven criminal charges.