SBF’s Defense Appalls Judge With Fumbling of Ellison Cross

Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyer’s shock Judge Lewis Kaplan with their cross-examination approach.

Sam Bankman-Fried is trying to convince the judge by telepathic means.
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  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorneys appear to be struggling.
  • The defense’s handling of Caroline Ellison’s cross-examination shocked the judge.
  • Bankman-Fried’s lawyers got on the judge’s nerves earlier in the case.

As the trial of disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) intensifies, his attorneys appear to be struggling. During the cross-examination of former Alameda CEO and Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, the judge expressed shock at the defense team’s approach.

Judge Kaplan Appalled by SBF’s Defense

During Thursday, October 12 proceedings, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan told Bankman-Fried’s lead attorney, Mark Cohen, that he had never seen the cross-examination of a prosecution witness handled like they were handling Ellison’s.

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"Mr. Cohen, I've never seen the cross of a cooperator done like this," Kaplan reportedly asserted.

Judge Kaplan’s comments came as Cohen’s questioning often seemed repetitive of the direct examination done by the prosecution or appeared to lack a clear direction. In one instance, Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon was forced to call Cohen out for asking questions about Bankman-Fried’s relationship with Ellison that had already been answered during the direct examination.

Commenting on the proceedings, Delphi Labs General Counsel Gabriel Shapiro suggested that Kaplan’s words held significant weight as the judge spoke from 30 years of experience.

Shapiro further bashed Cohen’s approach as “very meandering” while speculating that the lawyer was likely trying to suggest that Ellison and then Alameda co-CEO Sam Trabucco made several decisions without Bankman-Fried.

It is not the first time that the defense has drawn Judge Kaplan’s ire.

Repeat Offenders

Three days into the trial, several reports suggested that Bankman-Fried’s lawyers were testing Judge Kaplan’s patience. At the time, Judge Kaplan admonished the defense against incessant repetition.

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"I just want to express my growing concern about the extent of the entirely unnecessary repetition, and I've given you a lot of latitude. You're wearing out the welcome on the repetition," Kaplan told a member of Bankman-Fried's legal team.

Aside from troubles during proceedings, the defense has also struggled to get motions to help their case approved. These include a motion to bring up Sam Bankman-Fried’s Anthropic investment in court. The investment recently grew in value, and some observers have speculated it could make FTX customers whole. However, the judge is not having any of it and continues to side with the prosecution.

On the Flipside

  • The case has barely run for two weeks, with an estimated four more weeks to go.
  • The ultimate decision lies with the jury, not the judge.

Why This Matters

Judge Kaplan’s startled reactions suggest the defense is having a bad time making a case for the disgraced FTX founder in the face of damning testimonies from insiders.

Following the startling revelations from Ellison’s testimony:
Ellison Testimony Reveals All: FTX Concealed $800M Loss

Find out more about Bankman-Fried’s obsession with Binance:
Ellison Exposes SBF’s Frantic Obsession with Crushing Binance

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.