Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former crypto mogul who is facing fraud and conspiracy charged over his alleged scheme to steal money to make political donations, and his legal team submitted a list of proposed questions they want to ask potential jurors ahead of his trial—giving insight into what topics the trial will cover as well as where the legal team believes their weaknesses and strengths lie.
Among the 64 questions that Bankman-Fried’s legal team wants the judge to ask each potential juror is whether they, or any of their family or close acquaintances, have ever lost money trading cryptocurrency.
The questions also ask potential jurors about whether they believe donating to political action committees, or PACs, is wrong, as well as the ethics of donating to political causes more broadly.
Bankman-Fried’s team also wants to ask potential jurors if they have any experience with someone who has ADHD, which it notes “might affect things like his physical behavior, body language, or eye contact,” and if they “have any opinion” about the fact Bankman-Fried has ADHD.
The questions also ask potential jurors if they’re familiar with effective altruism, a social movement that seeks to make charitable giving as effective as possible, and what their opinions are on it—Bankman-Fried is an outspoken advocate for the principle.
The questions additionally include many other standard questions about the potential jurors’ familiarity with the case, their personal experience with crime and any possible relationships or conflicts of interest with attorneys working on the case.
Bankman-Fried is set to stand trial on October 3 for his actions as founder and CEO of FTX, a massive cryptocurrency exchange that made Bankman-Fried a billionaire worth over $20 billion before collapsing and filing for bankruptcy in November after a liquidity crisis triggered by a selloff of its own FTT tokens. Accusations of illegal business dealings between the company and Alameda Research, the company’s sister trading firm, quickly emerged. In December, Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and he has since been indicted on a number of criminal charges in the U.S., including seven counts of conspiracy and fraud. Federal prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried secretly directed customers’ money from Alameda to FTX executives’ personal bank accounts. Those executives made political contributions in their own names in an effort to give FTX political influence. Bankman-Fried then allegedly used this influence to lobby Congress and regulatory agencies to support legislation and regulation to make it easier for FTX to succeed, according to his indictment. He has pleaded not guilty.
The jury questions will ultimately be determined by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who is presiding over this case, with the input of both the defense and prosecution.
Sam Bankman-Fried Accused Of Using $100 Million In Stolen Funds On Political Donations (Forbes)
Judge Orders Sam Bankman-Fried Back To Jail For Violating Bail Conditions (Forbes)
Another FTX Executive—Ryan Salame—Pleads Guilty To Criminal Charges Over Company’s Collapse (Forbes)