As the fraud trial nears its end, attorneys began their closing arguments to the jury that will decide Sam Bankman Fried's fate.
Nicholas Roos, the US Assistant Attorney for the Department of Justice, presented to the public that Bankman Fried is guilty of stealing and involving his business partners in a cover up.
Roos called the scheme a 'pyramid of deceit', which was built by the defendant based on lies and false claims -- all in order to make money.
Roos went on to say that 'it eventually collapsed and left countless victims behind it'.
The case revolves around the collapse of FTX - the crypto exchange that Bankman-Fried founded - which spiraled into bankruptcies a year earlier, locking out hundreds of thousands customers and preventing them from moving their money. According to the government the fraud was taking place behind the scenes while Bankman-Fried’s other company, Alameda Research was secretly siphoning off money from customer accounts.
Roos informed the jury that the main issue at stake in the case was whether Bankman-Fried knowingly knew that taking the moneywas wrong and that it wasn't just an honest mistake made by a startup founder who had become distracted.
Roos stated that the answer was clear: He accepted the money, he understood it was wrong but he still did it. Because he believed he was cleverer... He thought he could speak his way out.
The prosecutor stated that Bankman-Fried lied when he took the stand and testified for three days in front of the jury.
Bankman-Fried "created a story that was conveniently crafted to exclude him from the fraud."
Roos stated that Bankman Fried was confident and had a perfect memory', when questioned by the attorney. During cross-examination'suddenly...he could not remember a single fact about his company.' It was unpleasant to hear.
Roos, a critic of Bankman-Fried, said that the defense that his firms had a'messy' accounting was a lie.
Bankman-Fried, however, thought that it was okay and claimed he didn't know about many of the actions at issue. 'Not a single witness' said the same. Three senior executives from the defendant's inner circle were among the government witnesses who saw the mixing of funds as "a bright redline."
Over the course of several hours, Roos tried to demonstrate how Bankman Fried was duplicitous and fraudulent for years while he built his crypto empire.
Bankman-Fried repeatedly assured reporters, customers and investors that the deposits of their clients were secure. Bankman-Fried, while publicly claiming that FTX is a neutral piece' of market infrastructure and a wholly separate' company from Alameda, Roos stated, compiled a sheet that showed Alameda’s $65 billion credit line -- one of many secret privileges that Alameda was granted as a FTX customer.
Roos stated that the 'public lies" show his criminal intention.
Bankman-Fried was glued to his laptop as Roos addressed the jury. He would occasionally type and scroll.
Joseph Bankman, and Barbara Fried briefly greeted him in the morning, before the trial started, but they were not visible during the closing argument of the government.