A jury has reached a verdict, finding one-time crypto magnate Sam Bankman-Fried guilty, as reported by multiple media outlets. This marks the dramatic conclusion to a nearly month-long trial held in Manhattan federal court.

Trial Summary

The case was handed over to the jury on Thursday following closing arguments from both the prosecution and the defense. Sam Bankman-Fried, the 31-year-old founder and former CEO of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges, which included fraud and money laundering. FTX's collapse a year ago resulted in the loss of billions of dollars belonging to its customers.

Testimony Highlights

Throughout the trial, nearly two-dozen individuals, including three of Bankman-Fried's closest associates, provided testimony. Prosecutors argued that Bankman-Fried misappropriated $10 billion from customers and utilized it for personal gains such as luxury real estate acquisitions, venture-capital investments, loan payments, and political contributions.

Deputy U.S. Attorney's Closing Statements

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos delivered impactful closing arguments to the jury on Wednesday, describing Bankman-Fried's actions as "a pyramid of deceit built on a foundation of lies and false promises." Roos further emphasized that the collapse of this pyramid left thousands of victims in its wake.

Defense lawyer Mark Cohen challenged the prosecution's portrayal of Bankman-Fried, asserting that they were attempting to cast him as a villain in order to hold him accountable for customer losses. Cohen argued that the prosecutors lacked the evidence to prove that Bankman-Fried had stolen billions of dollars from these individuals.

The prosecution presented excerpts of testimony from three former high-ranking associates of Bankman-Fried, who admitted to committing crimes under his direction. According to the prosecution, customer funds were transferred from FTX to Alameda Research, a related company. The key points of contention in this case revolve around whether Bankman-Fried had knowledge of these fund movements and whether he was aware of their illegitimacy.

"He took the money," declared Roos, a member of the prosecution team, before the jury. "He knew it was wrong. He did it anyway."

Cohen countered by emphasizing that making poor business decisions and mistakes is not a criminal act. He argued that the government had failed to demonstrate that Bankman-Fried had operated with criminal intent.

Legal expert Carl Tobias, from the esteemed University of Richmond School of Law, assessed the prosecution's strategy, suggesting that they chose to present Bankman-Fried as engaging in "garden-variety fraud" rather than as the mastermind of an intricate scheme.

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