- The Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) trial is coming to an end.
- The prosecution has bashed the narrative created by the defense in closing arguments as “made-up” in rebuttals.
- The rebuttal represents the final action from lawyers ahead of jury deliberation to decide the disgraced FTX founder’s fate.
The Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) trial is drawing to a close. Following closing arguments on Wednesday, November 1, the prosecution in rebuttals has taken a final hack at the defendant’s story, setting the stage for the 12-person jury to decide the fate of the former crypto mogul.
‘SBF’s Defense is A Made-Up Story’
In rebuttals led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon on Thursday, November 2, the prosecution rejected the case made by the defense in closing that actions taken by Bankman-Fried at FTX and Alameda were reasonable. Sassoon asserted that the FTX founder’s decision to spend customer funds on personal interests was “fraud.”
Sassoon also countered the idea that Bankman-Fried only knew about FTX’s financial troubles in the fall of 2022 after the firm had raised money and, as such, did not intend to defraud investors.
The assistant U.S. attorney urged the jury to recall the 2021 Binance buyout, the bulk of which came from customer funds, the clandestine transfers to Alameda, and the false representation of Alameda’s balance sheets at Bankman-Fried’s request as established by witness and evidence presented by the prosecution.
Refuting the defense’s argument that cooperating witnesses, including former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, were incentivized to lie, Sassoon argued that these witnesses were consistent throughout their testimony, unlike Bankman-Fried.
The assistant U.S. attorney further rejected the narrative that the FTX founder and controlling Alameda shareholder was oblivious amid the chaos around him, including the market crash and Alameda’s growing liability, as “absurd” and “made-up.”
"The defendant supposedly didn't look into anything, the bug, the 7 spreadsheets. It's absurd. Suddenly, he finds a $10 billion liability, he just goes about his business. It's a made-up story," She reportedly asserted.
Sassoon’s rebuttals come ahead of jury deliberations to decide the crypto moguls’ fate.
At the time of writing, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan is reading instructions to the jury ahead of deliberations that could lead to a verdict as early as Thursday evening.
The defendant faces charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud, with the possibility of a 115-year jail time if found guilty of all counts.
At the heart of the matter is whether Bankman-Fried’s actions leading up to the FTX collapse and the loss of billions of dollars in customer and investor funds constituted fraud. Per the on-chain prediction site Polymarket, onlookers are not optimistic about the FTX founder’s fate. The odds suggest a 59% chance that he will be found guilty of all charges.
On the Flipside
- Bankman-Fried maintains a not-guilty plea.
- There is no telling where the jury will lean.
Why This Matters
Sassoon’s rebuttals represent the last act from counsel in the case before the jury deliberates. As the last thing jurors hear from lawyers before deliberation, it leaves a memorable narrative that could ultimately influence the final verdict that will decide Bankman-Fried’s fate.
Read this to learn more about the closing argument from SBF’s defense team:
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