On Monday, US Assistant Attorney Danielle Sassoon put forward some questions to Sam Bankman-Fried, as he took the witness stand in his criminal trial to prove his credibility.
However, it seemed that the memory of the former CEO of the FTX crypto exchange was faltering under the scope of the questions he was asked.
The questions put forward by Sassoon were about Alameda Research, the sister trading desk that Bankman-Fried had co-founded.
The ADA inquired if he had claimed that the bankrupt trading company had been subject to the same rules that applied to other clients on the FTX crypto exchange.
In response to the questions, Bankman-Fried said that he could not recall, was unsure, or that he was not clear on what Sassoon was talking about.
Bankman-Fried is testifying as one of the last witnesses in his criminal trial that has been ongoing for weeks now.
He has been charged with seven counts of conspiracy and fraud and the government has accused him of using Alameda to steal funds of FTX customers worth billions of dollars.
He has opted to plead not guilty to all of the charges that were brought against him.
On Monday, during the cross-examination of the government, the disgraced crypto mogul was unable to recall some details about his time as FTX’s CEO.
Dozens of times, his response to questions was just a different version of what he could not recall. Earlier in the day, he had been able to answer his own lawyers’ questions easily.
But, he was unable to satisfy the questions asked by the prosecutors. Before the government started questioning him, Judge Lewis Kaplan had reminded the former crypto mogul.
On Friday, he had been told to respond to questions ‘efficiently’, as he began to speak in front of a jury that would decide his fate.
Bankman-Fried had first been questioned by Mark Cohen, his lawyer, and he had remained calm and composed while responding.
But, once the government took over the questioning process, his responses became much more succinct.
Sassoon asked many questions related to several topics and he had answered in the affirmative to most until his memory failed.
Initially, SBF said that he could not recall if he had ever made claims of FTX’s safety. Close to the end, he could not recall if he had seen a balance sheet of Alameda Research presented by Caroline Ellison.
The former Alameda CEO has pled guilty to charges associated with FTX’s collapse and is cooperating with the investigators.
Ellison stated in her testimony that Bankman-Fried told her to prepare fake balance sheets for Alameda to reassure investors.
When he was shown the balance sheet, Bankman-Fried said he could recall if he had seen it. The government also questioned him about some of his excerpts and tweets to refresh his recollection.
He did seem to recall a meeting where Ellison had broken down and resigned from her position as CEO because of Alameda’s lack of hedged positions.