Did not defraud anyone or take customers’ funds: FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried

Bankman-Fried, however, acknowledged that "a lot of people got hurt" when the FTX collapsed in November last year.

San Francisco: Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX, has testified in a US court that he didn’t defraud the customers or take their funds.

Bankman-Fried sat on the stand, this time in front of a jury, in the Manhattan federal court late on Friday.

He is facing trial for seven charges related to fraud and money laundering.

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According to a TechCrunch report, when asked by his lawyer, Mark Cohen, whether he defrauded or took customer funds, Bankman-Fried said, “No, I did not.”

He said the biggest mistake was having no risk management team at FTX, which led to “significant oversights.”

Bankman-Fried, however, acknowledged that “a lot of people got hurt” when the FTX collapsed in November last year.

“We thought we might be able to build the best product on the market. It turned out basically the opposite of that,” he told the judge.

“A lot of people got hurt, customers, employees, and the company ended up in bankruptcy,” he added.

He reiterated that he did not defraud anyone or take customer funds.

On Thursday, Judge Lewis Kaplan heard from Bankman-Fried without a jury to determine whether his testimony could be shared with jurors.

Earlier, Indian-origin Nishad Singh, a former director of engineering at the collapsed crypto exchange, testified that he had a lot of admiration and respect for Bankman-Fried but over time, that “eroded”.

According to Singh, Bankman-Fried’s frequent dipping into customers’ funds was at times done “unilaterally” and was often “excessive”.

The FTX trial is expected to last six weeks.

FTX — once the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange — filed for bankruptcy in November last year.

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