Jury selection resumes at fraud trial for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried

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The final stages of jury selection resumed Wednesday at the fraud trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried in New York City. Opening statements were expected to begin by the early afternoon in Manhattan federal court, where Bankman-Fried has entered not guilty pleas to seven charges. Prosecutors say the California man defrauded thousands of investors and customers in his businesses by siphoning off their money for his own uses. Defense lawyers insist that their client had no criminal intent as he became famous in the crypto world while growing FTX and a related business, Alameda Research, into multibillion dollar heavyweights in the cryptocurrency industry. Attorneys and Judge Lewis A. Kaplan were reducing a pool of 45 prospective jurors to a jury of 12 with six alternates, who would sit through the duration of a trial projected to last up to six weeks. Bankman-Fried, 31, became a target of investigators when FTX collapsed last November amid a rush of customers seeking to recover their deposits, less than a year after Bankman-Fried spent millions of dollars on the 2022 Super Bowl with celebrity advertisements promoting FTX as the “safest and easiest way to buy and sell crypto.” Bankman-Fried was extradited to the United States from the Bahamas after his arrest last December. Originally under house arrest for nearly eight months, his $250 million bond was revoked and he was jailed in August after a judge concluded he’d tried to influence trial witnesses.

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