FTX faces new developments every week in the lawsuit process. While Sam Bankman-Fried’s multiple eviction applications have been rejected, a development has occurred that will particularly put SBF in a difficult position. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has confirmed its plans to summon former FTX customers, investors, and employees as witnesses in the upcoming trial.
According to an announcement by the Department of Justice on September 30, it was found that the FTX team used customer assets without their consent. Therefore, customers are planned to be called as witnesses in court, and DOJ has submitted a petition regarding this matter.
The priority of the Department of Justice is to support the court report with the statements of individual and institutional customers who entrusted their assets, which have reached significant values, to FTX and believed that the platform would secure these assets. Additionally, the aim is for the witnesses to understand Bankman-Fried’s statements and practices regarding FTX’s asset management.
Alongside these developments, the Department of Justice also offers an alternative for customers who cannot attend the court due to unfavorable conditions. For example, “FTX Customer-1,” who resides in Ukraine and is one of the DOJ’s witnesses, will be unable to travel to the United States due to ongoing conflicts in Ukraine. Therefore, DOJ has proposed video conferencing for the customer to provide testimony.
SBF’s legal team, led by attorney Mark Cohen, continues to criticize the Department of Justice for another reason. Allegedly, the questions directed to the jury by the department have caused many concerns. According to Bankman-Fried’s defense, these questions imply his guilt, but according to the legal team, making these allegations before a court decision disregards the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”
Furthermore, presenting the defense towards crypto currencies can also confuse the jury members. This situation can hinder the natural biases of jurors against the crypto industry and mislead the jury’s perspective. This situation poses another threat to the impartiality of the court.
The jury selection, which will begin on October 3, has also been criticized as it takes place shortly before the start of the trial.