Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have asked permission to quiz the failed crypto exchange founder on the involvement of FTX’s counsel in certain operations, with Bankman-Fried expected to testify starting Thursday.
In a letter submitted to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys also asked to elicit testimony on his knowledge of certain industry practices, and his “intentions and beliefs on November 12, 2022, to rebut the inferences from Gary Wang’s testimony that Mr. Bankman-Fried directed the transfer of assets to Bahamian regulators on that date, over the objections of FTX’s in-house and outside legal counsel, in an effort to retain control of FTX.”
Specifically, the defense team noted that the prosecutors have argued that the use of auto-deletion policies is evidence of Bankman-Fried’s fraudulent and criminal intent. In response, his lawyers said that his understanding that auto-deletion policies were “instituted under the guidance of lawyers” would be directly relevant to rebutting the inference.
The defense attorneys also said that Bankman-Fried’s understanding as to the involvement of counsel in the formation of the North Dimension entities and opening of its account at Silvergate Bank would be “directly relevant to his good faith belief that there was nothing improper about using Alameda-controlled entities to accept FTX customer deposits.”
His lawyers also intend to ask him about his knowledge that lawyers were involved in structuring and documenting the loans made from Alameda to FTX executives.
“At a minimum, Mr. Bankman-Fried should be permitted [to] testify in his defense regarding the involvement of counsel on these topics to counter any implication from the testimony elicited to date that he failed to act in good faith with respect to these matters,” his defense team said.
Motion to elicit testimony from FBI agents denied
Meanwhile, Judge Kaplan denied on Wednesday a request from Bankman-Fried’s lawyers to have FBI special agents Luke Booth and Kristin Allain testify in court on Thursday.
The defense said that FTX’s former co-founder Gary Wang and head of engineering Nishad Singh testified inconsistently with what they earlier told the FBI.
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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