Just days before the high-profile criminal trial of Sam Bankman-Fried is scheduled to start, federal prosecutors disclosed the list of witnesses who will be testifying.
Over the weekend, a pair of filings were submitted by the prosecutors in which they said that they were planning on introducing testimony from FTX investors and customers who were affected by its collapse last year.
These witnesses would talk about how they expected the crypto exchange to look after their digital assets instead of how they were ultimately used.
The prosecutors’ filing said that in all of the cases, the testimony would be about how the witnesses had perceived their relationship with Bankman-Fried and his companies.
They said that their goal was to show how reasonable people had perceived and understood the representations that SBF had made about how FTX was treating customer assets and other issues.
The government also informed the court in another letter that testimony of non-US citizens would also be used in the case.
They would also be expected to elaborate on how they thought their funds were used after being deposited with FTX.
Before the exchange’s downfall last November, most of its user base had been abroad, while its smaller subsidiary, FTX U.S. had been catering to American citizens.
Amongst the witnesses the prosecutors plan on calling would be an unnamed Ukrainian citizen, who has been referred to as ‘FTX-Customer 1’.
They have sought permission from the court to allow the said witness to testify remotely, as Ukrainian males above the age of 18 are not permitted to leave the country amidst its ongoing war with Russia.
According to prosecutors, the said individual had entrusted his life savings to FTX after the war began and had lost a substantial portion of it.
As far as the unnamed co-conspirators are concerned, the prosecutors added that testimony from certain witnesses who have pled guilty and have been granted immunity by the government would also be included.
The purpose of this testimony would be to show how they had agreed with SBF to carry out a scheme that resulted in FTX’s failure.
While the filing did not reveal their names, the prosecutors have already made cooperation deals with the inner circle of SBF.
This includes Gary Wang, the co-founder of FTX, and Nishad Singh, the former head of engineering at FTX.
The former CEO of Alameda Research and a former lover of SBF, Caroline Ellison, also made a deal with the prosecutors.
She has already admitted that she and the other executives were aware that it was wrong to use client funds the way they did.
As far as SBF’s attorneys are concerned, they also filed objections with the court over the weekend regarding the questions proposed by the government for potential jurors.
According to the lawyers, the list of questions was unfair and also ‘prejudicial’. They said that prosecutors were referring to their client’s actions as fraud instead of alleged fraud.
They also stated that the questions were not adequate for weeding out bias among potential jurors.