SBF Trial: For Once, Bankman-Fried’s Lawyer Lands a Punch

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Under questioning from defense attorney Mark Cohen, a former FTX exec and government witness admitted to some hazy memories.

NEW YORK — Nishad Singh, a member of Sam Bankman-Fried’s inner circle, couldn’t quite remember what he told prosecutors about his conversations with the fallen cryptocurrency mogul and other FTX executives, he said Tuesday in response to questioning from Bankman-Fried’s lawyers.

The former Bankman-Fried confidant’s admission marked the first time since the trial began two weeks ago that the defense has seemingly managed to poke a hole in the case against their client, whose empire crumbled nearly a year ago.

Singh’s second day of testimony against his former friend, roommate and colleague began with relatively calm, but steady, questions from attorney Mark Cohen, who’s leading the defense.

Cohen walked Singh through his testimony from the day before, seeming to build up to question Singh’s actual memory of his conversations regarding a bug in Alameda’s code in June 2022 and his response to the FTX team living in a luxury penthouse in the Bahamas.

Didn’t Singh tell prosecutors he had a “surprising amount of haziness” about the sequence of events from June 2022, Cohen asked after having Singh walk through that very sequence. Singh said he could not remember what he told prosecutors at the meeting Cohen highlighted, which took place in January 2023.

The defense attorney also questioned Singh’s assertion that the penthouse at the Orchid, a facility in the Bahamas’ upscale Albany area, was too expensive. Singh, Bankman-Fried and other residents of the penthouse were billionaires or multimillionaires, so was the choice of residence appropriate for that level of wealth, Cohen asked. Singh said he wasn’t sure.

Cohen also asked if Singh had a view on Alameda borrowing funds so long as the company’s assets were in excess of borrows. Singh told the court he did not think it was appropriate. Cohen sighed.

Singh is still on the stand as of this writing. The defense team said Monday that they estimate the cross-examination will take several hours. The Department of Justice expects to call law enforcement official Richard Busick once Singh is done testifying.

BY: Nikhilesh De and Sam Kessler


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