Just Keep Skimming
Nobody reads the fine print, including, apparently, the former CEO of the fallen crypto exchange FTX.
During his ill-advised testimony at his own fraud trial, per CNN, disgraced crypto wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried admitted that he had only "skimmed" iterations of FTX's terms of service, and appeared to be confused about whether they allowed him to allegedly skim money off the top — a charge that the defendant denies.
When asked by prosecutors if borrowing money from the firm to pay off debts at Alameda Research, FTX's sister company, was in accordance with the ToS, SBF responded "um, yes, under many circumstances."
Needless to say, it's not a good look, especially given the mounting evidence against him. Taking the witness stand at his own trial was ill-advised — and the situation is only getting worse.
Set to Auto-Delete
As the Wall Street Journal points out, Bankman-Fried's Thursday testimony was extra strange because Judge Lewis Kaplan, the district court jurist presiding over the first part of the FTX fraud trial, sent the jury home for the day while its subject took the stand.
Although jurors were not permitted to hear the testimony, the press was still in attendance.
As reports from the courtroom indicate, assistant US attorney Danielle Sassoon grilled SBF for specifics about the conversations he'd had with lawyers about Alameda spending FTX money, only to get vague, mumbling responses from the defendant.
Not one to suffer fools gladly, Kaplan then ordered Bankman-Friend to "henceforth, listen to the question and answer the question directly." When he didn't take that directive to heart, the judge then issued what can only be called a bench burn.
"Part of the problem," Kaplan said, "is that the witness has what I’ll simply call an interesting way of responding to questions."
It seems pretty clear that SBF isn't exactly endearing himself to the judge, who before the trial even began, remanded him to the jailhouse for alleged witness tampering after the former FTX CEO leaked his ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison's diary entries to the New York Times over the summer.
Though he seemed to be making up for his mumblecore-worthy performance on his first day of testimony, Bankman-Fried is still, as Kaplan warned at the beginning of his trial, looking at a very long sentence if prosecuted — and the evidence against him keeps mounting, occasionally with his own help.
More on SBF: You Have Got to See this Unhinged SBF Memo