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Sex, Signal messages and sabotaging FTX’s code: SBF criminal trial


Witness Adam Yedidia answers questions during Sam Bankman-Fried fraud trial over the collapse of FTX, the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, at Federal Court in New York City, October 5, 2023, in this courtroom sketch.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

Two of Sam Bankman-Fried’s former friends from MIT, who also worked at crypto exchange FTX while living with the company’s founder in the Bahamas, took the stand in a Manhattan courtroom this week to testify against their former classmate, confidant, and boss — a man who allegedly ran a crypto empire that defrauded thousands of customers out of billions of dollars.

Gary Wang, the lesser-known co-founder of FTX, was asked by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos on Thursday, “Did you commit financial crimes while working at FTX?”

“Yes,” responded Wang. He said that his crimes, including wire and commodities fraud, were carried out with the help of Bankman-Fried, FTX ex-engineering head Nishad Singh and Caroline Ellison, who ran sister hedge fund Alameda Research and had been Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend.

“Mr. Wang, do you see any of the people you committed those crimes with in the courtroom today?” Roos continued.

Wang, dressed in an oversized and wrinkled suit with a red tie and glasses, awkwardly stood up and looked around the courtroom before responding, “Yes.”

“Who do you see?” asked Roos.

“Sam Bankman-Fried,” he said.

The trial, set to last six weeks, will resume on Tuesday with key testimony expected from Ellison, who is considered the prosecution’s star witness, having already pleaded guilty to multiple charges. Bankman-Fried faces seven federal charges, including wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering, that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Thus far, Bankman-Fried, 31, has remained mostly quiet in court intently listening to witnesses and at times writing notes to his attorneys. But as Wang testified against him, Bankman-Fried looked visibility upset, shifting his gaze from his former friend to the ground, and at one point putting his head in his hands.

Sam Bankman-Fried listens as Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos questions Gary Wang during Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial over the collapse of FTX, the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, at Federal Court in New York City, U.S., October 6, 2023, in this courtroom sketch. 

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

Wang, 30, was technology chief for FTX, which spiraled into bankruptcy in November. He spoke so fast that U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan and the prosecutor both stopped him at points to ask that he slow his pace.

Much of Wang’s testimony on Friday focused on the final days at FTX before the entire operation imploded, including reports in the media detailing Alameda’s business practices and its troubling ties to FTX.

Wang said that in response to the reporting an emergency meeting was called between Bankman-Fried, Wang and Singh, to discuss shutting down Alameda. He said they ultimately decided against such a move, because he and…



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