HomeEconomic IndicatorFTX investments defended by Sam Bankman-Fried's attorney, refuting claims of recklessness, says...

FTX investments defended by Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorney, refuting claims of recklessness, says Reuters.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyer Defends FTX Investments in Fraud Trial

FTX’s Former Engineering Chief Testifies About Excessive Spending and Marketing

The lawyer representing FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried in his fraud trial pushed back against claims that the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange’s investments were reckless and frivolous. Testimony from former executive Nishad Singh portrayed FTX’s spending on marketing and celebrity endorsements as excessive. However, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer argued that the investments were not only justified but also beneficial for promoting FTX’s brand.

FTX’s Troubles Deemed Manageable by Bankman-Fried

Singh, FTX’s former engineering chief, testified that upon learning of a $13 billion shortfall in customer funds in September 2022, he believed FTX could still stay in business. This testimony potentially supports Bankman-Fried’s argument that he thought FTX’s troubles were manageable. However, FTX ultimately declared bankruptcy on November 11, 2022.

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Marketing Deals and Venture Investments

In his testimony, Singh criticized FTX’s venture investments and $1.1 billion in planned marketing deals. He claimed that these investments reeked of excess and flashiness. However, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer questioned Singh about the potential business benefits of promoting FTX’s brand. Singh acknowledged that there were business benefits and costs associated with such marketing efforts, suggesting that Bankman-Fried made good-faith decisions in allocating funds for marketing and investments.

Bankman-Fried’s Trial and Defense

Sam Bankman-Fried is currently on trial for charges related to looting billions of dollars in FTX customer funds. His defense team maintains that while mistakes were made, Bankman-Fried never intended to steal funds. Bankman-Fried is considering testifying in his own defense.

Investments, Relationships, and Lawsuits

Singh testified about FTX’s relationship with the investment firm K5 and its involvement in various investments. The defense argued that these investments were not reckless and frivolous, as previously claimed. Furthermore, FTX’s current management filed a lawsuit against K5, seeking to recover $700 million. The lawsuit alleges that FTX funds were used to buy a stake in Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila brand when its assets were significantly undervalued. K5 has denied the allegations.

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Confrontation and Personal Accountability

Singh also revealed details about a confrontation he had with Bankman-Fried in September 2022, where he confronted him about the billions owed to FTX customers. Singh admitted feeling anxious and even suicidal during that period. Additionally, Singh admitted to purchasing a $3.7 million home using FTX customer funds, expressing his shame and agreeing to forfeit the property as part of his plea agreement.

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