Sam Bankman-Fried Proposes Financial Expert as Witness to Rebut DOJ Testimony

The defense intends to call Joseph Pimbley, a financial services expert and consultant, to testify about FTX's and Alameda's financials.

AccessTimeIconOct 24, 2023 at 12:54 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 24, 2023 at 12:55 a.m. UTC
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Sam Bankman-Fried's defense team named Joseph Pimbley as their sole proposed expert witness in the FTX founder's ongoing criminal case.

Pimbley, a member of litigation consulting firm PF2, will respond to testimony from former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and developer Adam Yedidia, and former FTX Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang and Head of Engineering Nishad Singh, the defense said in a Monday court filing.

"Pimbley will testify to his opinion, based on data extracted from FTX’s database, that: (i) usage by Alameda Research of its line of credit fluctuated between approximately $1 billion and $3 billion between October 2021 and September of 2022 and decreased for a substantial portion of June 2022; and (ii) the majority of balances for non-Alameda, non-FTX users (i.e., accounts excluding Alameda’s accounts and FTX’s own accounts) are concentrated in just four coins (USD, BTC, ETH, and USDT) relative to the hundreds of coins defined within the FTX database, and more than 75% of non-Alameda, non-FTX balances arise from accounts that have spot margin enabled, spot margin lending enabled, or show futures activity," the filing said.

In a disclosure statement, Pimbley said he "extracted data" about how much of FTX's line of credit Alameda actually used, the balances in all accounts based on FTX's Amazon Web Services database (organized by the type of cryptocurrency it was denominated in) and other information. His disclosure also includes his database queries and some charts and diagrams tied to his work on the case.

Pimbley, one of seven potential experts named in the defense’s original pitch for witnesses earlier this year, was initially rejected by Judge Lewis Kaplan, the Southern District of New York official overseeing the case. The judge allowed the defense to renominate four of the prospects as witnesses if they shared more specifics about what they would testify to.

While Pimbley is the sole proposed expert witness, this does not mean he's the only witness who may testify in Bankman-Fried's defense. Other witnesses may testify if they have a direct role or connection with FTX. The defense has not yet said if Bankman-Fried himself will testify.

Prosecutors trying Bankman-Fried's case told the court they expect to rest shortly after the trial resumes on Oct. 26. They expect to call two more witnesses – an FTX customer and an FTX investor – and their testimony shouldn't take more than an hour combined. The Department of Justice did name a possible third witness, a law enforcement official, but told the court it hoped the official's testimony would not be needed.

The defense has yet to confirm it will present a case but, if it does, it will start after lunch on Thursday.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

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