Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial to resume with testimony from ex-FTX executive

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[1/2]Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, arrives at court as lawyers push to persuade the judge overseeing his fraud case not to jail him ahead of trial, at a courthouse in New York, U.S., August 11, 2023. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz//File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights NEW YORK, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Former FTX executive Gary Wang is set to retake the stand on Friday and continue testifying against his former roommate and boss, Sam Bankman-Fried, who stands accused of stealing billions of dollars from customers of the cryptocurrency exchange. Wang, 30, is one of three FTX insiders who have pleaded guilty to fraud charges and entered a cooperation agreement with the government. He and Bankman-Fried were college roommates before going on to co-found the hedge fund Alameda Research. Wang testified on Thursday that while at FTX, he created software code at the direction of Bankman-Fried that gave “special privileges” to Alameda, allowing it to withdraw unlimited funds. Prosecutors have said those privileges were one of the main mechanisms that Bankman-Fried used to plunder customer assets, leading to the exchange’s collapse in November 2022. Bankman-Fried’s attorney said during opening statements on Tuesday that FTX was a startup, and that Alameda was not just an ordinary customer on the exchange but a market maker, which generated supply and demand in the exchange’s early days. While Wang is the first cooperator to take the stand, jurors have so far heard from three other witnesses. A former FTX user testified he was unable to withdraw his funds after the exchange collapsed, and Matt Huang, the head of a crypto-focused fund that invested in FTX, said he was told Alameda received “no preferential treatment” on the platform. Adam Yedidia, a former FTX computer programmer who reported to Wang, testified that he expressed concern to Bankman-Fried in mid-2022 after learning that Alameda had borrowed $8 billion from the exchange. He said Bankman-Fried appeared worried and told him the companies were “not bulletproof” as they had been the year before. Zac Prince, the founder of crypto lender BlockFi, is among the witnesses expected to testify after Wang finishes when the trial resumes next Tuesday. Reporting by Jody Godoy; Editing by David Gregorio Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Acquire Licensing Rights, opens new tab Jody Godoy Thomson Reuters Jody Godoy reports on banking and securities law. Reach her at jody.godoy@thomsonreuters.com Luc Cohen Thomson Reuters Reports on the New York federal courts. Previously worked as a correspondent in Venezuela and Argentina.

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