SBF Trial: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Might Try and Win His Case – Ep. 551

The high-stakes trial of Sam Bankman-Fried is set to begin on October 3, and the FTX founder and former CEO will have to answer for his role in the cryptocurrency exchange’s downfall, which led to billions in losses. Both the prosecution and defense are currently preparing for what is set to be a significant milestone for the crypto industry. Kayvan Sadeghi, partner at Jenner & Block and Sam Enzer, partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, discuss the differences between a civil and criminal trial, what the jury selection process might look like, and what arguments the prosecution and defense might use to support their cases. 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Show highlights:

The difference between a civil and criminal trial and why it’s difficult for the defense to prepare while Sam Bankman-Fried is in jail

Whether SBF was offered a plea deal and if so, why he didn’t take it

What the process of vetting jurors looks like and what both sides are looking for

What a pre-opening jury charge is and why Judge Lewis A. Kaplan might choose to use it

The importance of intent when it comes to SBF’s charges

The pros and cons of the defense using the argument that the FTX founder was receiving poor legal advice

What charges SBF is facing and whether the defense or prosecution has the upper hand

How the opening statements of both the prosecution and the defense might play out

Whether SBF will be put on the stand and why that could be a “dangerous” move, according to Sam

How the defense could respond to testimony from key witnesses like Caroline Ellison or Gary Wang

How Judge Kaplan being a “tough sentencer” could impact SBF’s jail sentence, according to Sam

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Kayvan Sadeghi, partner and co-chair of Fintech & Crypto Assets at Jenner & Block

Previous appearance on Unchained: Why the SEC vs. Ripple Order Is Now About 2 Things: Coinbase and Congress

Samson Enzer, partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel.


Previous coverage from Unchained on Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX:

Here’s How Sam Bankman-Fried’s High-Stakes Trial Could Play Out

Why FTX Might Try to Claw Back Funds From Retail Customers

How Much Prison Time Is FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Facing? 

Why the Legal Process for FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried Could Take Years

The Chopping Block: SBF Wants to Win in the Court of Public Opinion. Will He?

Jesse Powell and Kevin Zhou on How FTX and Alameda Lost $10 Billion

Sam Bankman-Fried on How to Prevent the Next Terra and 3AC

Details of the trial:

Unchained: FTX: The Exchange That Brought Down the Industry


Here’s the Sam Bankman-Fried Trial Schedule

The SBF Trial: How Did We Get Here?

Here’s How FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s Trial May Play Out

Forbes: Sam Bankman-Fried Could Face ‘Very Long Sentence,’ Judge Says Before Denying Release

SBF’s defense team:

Unchained: Sam-Bankman-Fried Files New Request for Temporary Release Before Trial


U.S. Department of Justice Opposes Sam Bankman-Fried’s Latest Move for ‘Temporary Release’

Key witnesses:

Unchained: SBF’s Expert Witnesses Barred From Testifying at Trial

Reuters: Who is Caroline Ellison, a key witness set to testify against Sam Bankman-Fried?

NYT: Prosecutors Detail Evidence Against Sam Bankman-Fried – The New York Times


All of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Proposed Expert Witnesses Should Be Barred From Testifying: DOJ

Judge Blocks Sam Bankman-Fried’s Proposed Witnesses From Testifying

Business Insider: Sam Bankman-Fried is being sent to jail after a judge revoked his bail over alleged witness tampering

Jury selection:

CoinDesk: Sam Bankman-Fried Can Ask DOJ Witnesses About Drug Use

Cointelegraph: Sam Bankman-Fried’s political donations can be surfaced in trial, rules judge

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