Sam Enzer, a partner at the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel, told Laura that former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried did about as well as he could in his testimony Friday but that he was unlikely “to withstand the scrutiny” of what prosecutors have already said will be a robust cross-examination when he takes the stand Monday.

Enzer noted that Bankman-Fried’s attempts to explain why he thought his trading shop, Alameda Research, could borrow billions in dollars of FTX customer assets “defies common sense,” and that the company’s own terms of agreement or any other communications offered no justification for this belief. A Thursday hearing without the jury present, in which the defense gave a preview of some arguments it wanted to make, ended up giving the government answers from SBF that it can now use against him. Enzer also said that Bankman-Fried’s contention that his biggest mistake –  a failure to implement proper risk management – did not constitute criminal fraud, did not address the core of the government’s case; namely, that he lied about how FTX was handling customer deposits.

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Show highlights:

  • why Enzer thinks Sam Bankman-Fried’s testimony is unlikely to sway jury sentiment or withstand cross-examination
  • why the evidentiary hearing in which SBF testified without a jury may hurt his cause
  • the purpose of the evidentiary hearing
  • how Judge Lewis Kaplan hinted at what he thought about SBF’s testimony
  • how Bankman-Fried is likely to fare against prosecutor Danielle Sassoon in what she has promised will be a robust cross-examination
  • how the defense tried to recast SBF’s image by humanizing him
  • why the defense now has the strongest grounds for an appeal than it previously did
  • what the jury is likely to make of SBF’s contention that he was in the dark about core allegations
  • why the prosecution said it will call rebuttal witnesses
  • what a charge conference is and why that will take place after SBF testifies

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Episode Transcript