Sam Bankman-Fried trial live: FTX founder faces seven conspiracy and fraud counts

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Good morning and welcome to our live blog coverage of the criminal trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, the former cryptocurrency mogul who faces charges on finance crimes stemming from the shocking collapse of the financial exchange he founded, FTX. The trial caps off nearly a year of freefall for the one-time crypto wunderkind who faces seven counts, on fraud and conspiracy charges, for allegedly siphoning billions of dollars in investors’ money into risky trades and other unlawful purposes. Additional jury selection is set to begin at the Manhattan federal court after a slow first day on Tuesday. Bankman-Fried was not at the courthouse in advance of the proceedings, and it was later revealed that Donald Trump’s civil trial across the alley had derailed his arrival. Federal prosecutors have accused Bankman-Fried of using customer funds to plug losses at FTX’s associated hedge fund, Alameda Research, as well as buying up high-priced real estate, funding his pet philanthropy projects and making extensive political donations. Bankman-Fried has acknowledged inadequate risk management, but denied stealing funds. He is expected to argue that FTX’s Terms of Service did not prohibit the exchange from using customer funds for its own purposes, as long as it allowed users to withdraw their money. The trial is expected to last about six weeks, and longtime federal Judge Lewis Kaplan will oversee the proceedings. Several of Bankman-Fried’s deputies and executives at the exchange, including the former head of Alameda and his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, are expected to testify in the trial. It is not yet clear whether Bankman-Fried himself will testify in his defense. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all seven charges. He will remain in jail throughout trial, following allegations that he sought to sway witnesses in advance of the proceedings. If convicted, he could face life in prison. No cameras will be allowed in the courtroom.

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