Here’s what happened today at Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial

3:59 PM ET, October 30, 2023

SBF’s responses remain ambiguous

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arraigned in federal court in New York City today during a fraud investigation into the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange.

Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

Cross-examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon continued after the lunch break, in the form of short rapid-fire questions about what Bankman-Fried knew as head of FTX and what she told reporters and members of Congress publicly.

Sassoon moved quickly from topic to topic, SBF trying to poke holes in the testimony presented under his lawyers’ interrogation.

Sassoon: “You called the shots CEO, didn’t you?”

SBF: “I invited some of them.”

Sassoon: “You think you’re pretty smart?”

SBF: “In many ways, not all ways.”

Armed with documents and audio clips from past interviews Bankman-Fried gave to the media, Sassoon sought to explain that FTX’s sister company, Alameda Research, was not subject to the same trading rules as other accounts on the FTX platform. Fried hid the offer from the public.

Bankman-Fried often gave vague answers, often saying she could not recall conversations or statements she had made in the past. Judge Louis Kaplan interrupted at least twice to instruct Bankman-Fried to answer yes or no and to stop trying to guess Sassoon’s motives.

“Sir, do you remember saying that in words or meaning?” Kaplan asked the defendant.

After a pause, the SBF replied: “With reference to certain matters and periods, yes.”

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