The Sam Bankman-Fried Trial: One Expert Witness

Bankman-Fried's defense team has revealed its sole proposed expert witness, who’ll try to point out flaws in the DOJ’s presentations.

AccessTimeIconOct 24, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Sam Bankman-Fried's defense team has officially named its sole proposed expert witness: PF2 Securities' Joseph Pimbley. We don't yet know how many other witnesses we may hear from – and, indeed, whether Bankman-Fried himself will testify.

You're reading The SBF Trial, a CoinDesk newsletter bringing you daily insights from inside the courtroom where Sam Bankman-Fried will try to stay out of prison. Want to receive it directly? Sign up here.

To clarify, the DOJ presented two types of witnesses. The majority were not "experts" on specific aspects of the case, but people who were directly involved in FTX as employees, customers or investors.

Prosecutors also had University of Notre Dame Professor Peter Easton as an expert witness. Easton's testimony focused on financial flows, presenting various flow charts and diagrams illustrating his analysis – albeit in a somewhat super simplified manner.

Pimbley's testimony looks to address similar financial concerns, although he seems to be more focused on allegations from various FTX insiders about the line of credit to Alameda and the size of funds the trading firm actually took from FTX.

Some diagrams in Pimbley’s disclosure statement also suggest he may speak to FTX's actual balances.

Whether the jury finds this testimony compelling enough to cast reasonable doubt on Bankman-Fried's alleged guilt remains to be seen.

While Pimbley may be able to poke logical holes in some details and allegations illustrated by the DOJ’s witnesses so far, it'll be difficult to overcome the emotional impact of Bankman-Fried's closest friends and former colleagues getting on the stand and saying they committed crimes with him.

What we’re expecting

Court is on break for another two days. However, defense lawyers have a deadline today to tell prosecutors and the court who their first few witnesses may be – at least those who may testify on Thursday, assuming the defense does indeed choose to bring a case. This list – like the prosecutors' list of witnesses – may not be immediately released to the public.

CoinDesk asked a spokesperson for Bankman-Fried how many witnesses might testify but received no response by press time.

Of course, the big mystery is whether Bankman-Fried himself will testify, and as we wrote in yesterday's newsletter, pretty much everyone seems to think he probably will.

Edited by Sandali Handagama.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Nikhilesh De

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

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.