Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried saw two differing versions of reality on Wednesday, as the former crypto mogul's trial continued into its second day with opening statements.
Prosecutors argued his wealth and power had been built on lies that only those in his inner circle knew about, according to multiple reports. Bankman-Fried's lawyers said he had "acted in good faith" and placed part of the blame on Caroline Ellison, who was the former CEO of FTX's sister trading firm Alameda Research.
District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan likened the opening statements to trailers of a movie, according to Inner City Press.
Ellison, who was in a romantic relationship with Bankman-Fried at one point, seems set to emerge as a central character in the trial, with prosecutors telling the jury that she'll them them how they "stole money together," according to Inner City Press.
She pleaded guilty to criminal charges last year and has cooperated with authorities.
Bankman-Fried faces decades in prison if he is convicted over a slew of charges including fraud over allegations that he and other FTX executives used billions of customer assets to make their own failed investments. FTX filed for bankruptcy late last year.
Judge Kaplan took Tuesday and about half the day on Wednesday to select 12 jurors and six alternates who will ultimately decide Bankman-Fried's fate, according to news reports.
Nine women and three men were selected as jurors, according to Bloomberg News. One man, 68, is retired and earned his MBA at Stanford University, where both of Bankman-Fried's parents are law professors. Others had multiple degrees at top universities including New York University and Syracuse University, among others.
One man, unfortunately, may be missing out on a visit to his daughter on Friday, telling the judge he had a non-refundable plane ticket.
Bankman-Fried first appeared at trial on Tuesday, dressed in an awkwardly-fitting gray suit and sporting a shorter haircut than his trademark look. He was told to stand at one point so potential jurors could recognize him, but otherwise spent the day quietly typing on his laptop and talking with his counsel.
Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
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