The high-stakes trial of Sam Bankman-Fried is set to begin on October 3, and the FTX founder and former CEO will have to answer for his role in the cryptocurrency exchange’s downfall, which led to billions in losses. Both the prosecution and defense are currently preparing for what is set to be a significant milestone for the crypto industry. Kayvan Sadeghi, partner at Jenner & Block and Sam Enzer, partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, discuss the differences between a civil and criminal trial, what the jury selection process might look like, and what arguments the prosecution and defense might use to support their cases. 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Show highlights:

  • The difference between a civil and criminal trial and why it’s difficult for the defense to prepare while Sam Bankman-Fried is in jail
  • Whether SBF was offered a plea deal and if so, why he didn’t take it
  • What the process of vetting jurors looks like and what both sides are looking for
  • What a pre-opening jury charge is and why Judge Lewis A. Kaplan might choose to use it
  • The importance of intent when it comes to SBF’s charges
  • The pros and cons of the defense using the argument that the FTX founder was receiving poor legal advice
  • What charges SBF is facing and whether the defense or prosecution has the upper hand
  • How the opening statements of both the prosecution and the defense might play out
  • Whether SBF will be put on the stand and why that could be a “dangerous” move, according to Sam
  • How the defense could respond to testimony from key witnesses like Caroline Ellison or Gary Wang
  • How Judge Kaplan being a “tough sentencer” could impact SBF’s jail sentence, according to Sam

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Previous coverage from Unchained on Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX:

Details of the trial:

SBF’s defense team:

Key witnesses:

Jury selection: