Sam Bankman-Fried is set to take the stand in his criminal trial over the collapse of his FTX crypto exchange early Friday, a day after previewing portions of his testimony before Judge Lewis Kaplan and the attorneys trying the case.
Judge Kaplan will rule on the defense’s motion to let Bankman-Fried testify about his knowledge of how lawyers were involved in creating documentation for FTX and Alameda Research, the companies at the heart of his empire. In previewing this testimony on Thursday, Bankman-Fried made it clear he would point the finger at former FTX General Counsel Dan Friedberg and outside law firm Fenwick & West, arguing he felt comfortable with how FTX was operating because they had some role in everything from the company’s terms of service to the setting up of North Dimension, an Alameda subsidiary intended to secure bank accounts and process payments.
“Friedberg, the chief regulatory officer of FTX International, in combination with Fenwick & West, one of our outside law firms, was – were the ones who drafted the incorporation documents, had incorporated and also corresponded with banks about opening up bank accounts for it,” Bankman-Fried said about North Dimension on Thursday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon asked Bankman-Fried if lawyers were involved in any of the actions at the heart of the Department of Justice’s actual charges – such as the alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars.
Some of Bankman-Fried’s comments on Thursday ranged from meandering to near-incomprehensible, leading to Judge Kaplan asking him to directly answer questions on multiple occasions.
“So I remember – my memory of the policy is that it laid out various circumstances in which it was not permissible to do so or in which there needed to be a lengthy retention period for company communications, and that outside of those sets of topics or forums, there was permissibility to have effectively whatever data-retention link or setting felt appropriate,” he said about FTX’s data retention policy.
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