Sam Bankman-Fried faces trial today regarding claims of misappropriating billions from FTX cryptocurrency exchange users.
Almost a year post the company’s downturn which shocked the financial world and dented his image, the process of jury selection has initiated.
Numerous New York locals, many with jury notices, have started arriving at a federal courthouse in lower Manhattan for the selection.
According to federal authorities, the 31-year-old ex-billionaire allegedly misused funds from FTX users since its inception in 2019 till its bankruptcy in November 2022, to support his hedge fund Alameda Research, acquire high-end real estate, and donate in excess of $100m to American political aspirants.
Mr. Bankman-Fried has declared his innocence against seven charges of deceit and conspiracy.
While he admits to lapses in risk control, he refutes any accusations of fund misappropriation.
Legal representatives disclosed that Sam Bankman-Fried did not engage in any plea negotiations prior to his trial over allegations of misappropriating billions from FTX cryptocurrency exchange users.
Before the potential jurors were ushered in, prosecutor Nicolas Roos stated there were no plea talks with Bankman-Fried and no offers for a plea agreement were presented. This was corroborated by Mark Cohen, one of Bankman-Fried’s attorneys.
The trial’s initial phase will involve the selection of a 12-person jury.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, before the arrival of the potential jurors, informed both the prosecution and defense teams that he would initiate the jury selection by inquiring if anyone had reasons that might prevent them from serving. He plans to delve into their histories and prior experiences to identify and exclude any individual who might hold biases.
The trial’s duration is anticipated to be around six weeks
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