Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, plans to testify at his criminal fraud trial in Manhattan, his lawyer said Wednesday.
The lawyer, Mark Cohen, confirmed Mr. Bankman-Fried’s plan to take the witness stand at a hearing with prosecutors and the judge overseeing the case, which was held on the last day of the nearly weeklong trial. Mr. Bankman-Fried, 31, could testify as soon as Thursday, when federal prosecutors are scheduled to call their final witness in the morning and then rest their case.
“Our client is going to testify,” Mr. Cohen said at the hearing.
Mr. Bankman-Fried is accused of orchestrating a widespread scheme to steal more than $10 billion in deposits from FTX customers. Prosecutors say the cryptocurrency mogul used that money to finance political contributions, real estate purchases and other lavish spending.
Mr Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to life imprisonment.
In the first three weeks of the trial, prosecutors convened a procession of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s close friends and colleagues, who testified that the FTX founder lied to customers, investors and lenders about his use of client money during the exchange’s construction. Had lied. Business Empire.
This is a developing news story. Stay tuned for updates.