In a trial during which he has suffered many low points, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried may have reached a nadir on day 15 as prosecutor Danielle Sassoon used his own words to show stark contradictions from his earlier testimony and a seemingly callous disregard for customer assets.
The tenacious, methodical Sassoon punctuated her more than four hours of interrogation on Monday afternoon with devastating audio and visual evidence of Bankman-Fried, including memos to himself, internal FTX and Alameda documents, and testimony to Congress that countered statements he’d made under his defense team team’s kinder questioning. In one instance, Sassoon showed a Signal chat in which Bankman-Fried expressed his interest in purchasing MAPs token, a direct refutation of his testifying that he “was not involved at all in any way” in trading.
In another instance, she illustrated Bankman-Fried’s alleged lack of regard for his Twitter followers, showing a screenshot of a Twitter DM with Kelsy Piper in which he admits to being insincere about his support for regulation that protects customers, telling Piper at one point, “just PR, fuck regulators.”
Bankman-Fried claimed not to remember a spreadsheet with seven, different balance sheets created by then Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison to make the company’s balance sheet look better than it was, a key piece of evidence that Ellison addressed in her testimony. Sassoon presented Google metadata showing Bankman-Fried had read the document.
Dressed in a light gray suit with a purple tie, Bankman-Fried claimed repeatedly not to remember other events or his responses in conversations, and he answered other questions with curt yeses and nos, unlike the windy, often convoluted responses that he provided to his defense team earlier in the day and on Monday. And as Sassoon continued to catch him in contradictions, he seemed to grow irritable and occasionally rocked back and forth in his chair.
Prosecutors will continue their cross-examination on Tuesday followed by redirect for one or two hours before the defense closes its case. The prosecution will then call two rebuttal witnesses.
Catch up on Unchained’s previous coverage:
- SBF Trial, Day 1: Possible Witnesses Include FTX Insiders, Big Names in Crypto, and SBF’s Family
- SBF Trial, Day 2: DOJ Says Sam Bankman-Fried ‘Lied’ While Defense Claims His Actions Were ‘Reasonable’
- SBF Trial, Day 3: Why a True Believer in FTX Flipped Once He Learned One Fact
- SBF Trial, Day 4: SBF’s Lawyers Annoy Judge Kaplan, While Wang Reveals Alameda’s Special Privileges
- SBF Trial, Day 5: SBF’s Defense Finally Found Its Legs, But Can It Counter Caroline Ellison?
- SBF Trial, Day 6: Caroline Ellison Recalls ‘The Worst Week of My Life’
- SBF Trial, Day 7: In SBF Trial, Did the Defense Lose Its Opportunity With the Star Witness?
- SBF Trial, Day 8: Former BlockFi CEO Adds Credibility to Fraud Charges
- SBF Trial, Day 9: Nishad Singh Describes Former FTX CEO as a Bully and Big Spender
- SBF Trial, Day 10: Defense Struggles to Discredit Nishad Singh’s Testimony
- SBF Trial, Day 11: How Alameda Got FTX Into a $9 Billion Hole
- SBF Trial, Day 12: Former FTX General Counsel Speaks Out Against SBF
- SBF Trial, Day 13: Before Judge, Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Gives Few Straight Answers
- SBF Trial, Day 14: Sam Bankman-Fried Casts Blame on Others for Key Decisions at FTX
- Did Sam Bankman-Fried Have Intent to Defraud FTX Investors?
- Why These Lawyers Say It’s Over for SBF-But His Only Hail Mary Is to Testify
- Here’s How Sam Bankman-Fried’s High-Stakes Trial Could Play Out
- SBF Trial: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Might Try and Win His Case
- The High-Stakes Trial of Sam Bankman-Fried Begins: What to Expect