The attorneys of disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried argued that the prosecution is unfairly painting the defendant as a “monster” as the trial closes.
According to a Reuters report, Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, addressed the jury and said that the prosecution elicited testimony about the defendant’s sex life and appearance in an attempt to paint him as a villain and get the jury to dislike him.
As stated by Cohen,
“Time and again, the government has sought to turn Sam into some sort of villain, some sort of monster. And let’s face it, an awkward high school math nerd doesn’t look particularly villainous. So what did they do? They wrote him into the movie as a villain.”
Court transcripts from Inner City Press further reveal Cohen’s stance that the prosecution was attempting to paint Bankman-Fried in a negative light using irrelevant matters.
“The government has tried to turn Sam into some sort of monster. It’s wrong and unfair. And it’s not a basis on which to decide this case…
There was a time when Sam was the worst-dressed CEO in the world and had the worst haircut. He talked to any blogger. That is not a crime.”
During the prosecution’s closing statements yesterday, the government addressed the jury and said that Bankman-Fried is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on every single one of his charges, citing the testimony of his former colleagues.
Bankman-Fried is accused of mishandling billions of dollars worth of customer funds as well as defrauding investors. It is alleged that he instructed FTX executives to transfer the funds of FTX customers into Alameda Research – the crypto exchange’s sister firm – to make crypto bets that went awry.
If convicted of his charges he faced decades in prison.
However, according to Cohen, the testimony of other former FTX executives didn’t include Bankman-Fried instructing them to commit crimes.
“None of the witnesses testified that Sam told them to violate the law. We’re offering a real-world perspective. Things get messy. People misjudge things.”