Oct 11, 2023

The prosecution's star witness Caroline Ellison is gearing up for another day of testimony against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Video transcript

The prosecution's star witness, Caroline Ellison testified against FDX founder Sam Beman freed yesterday in a packed courtroom. Uh, Ellison told jurors, uh, yesterday that she quote, sent balance sheets at the direction of Sam that made Elam's balance sheets look less risky to investors. Emily, you were there, uh, amongst all the hubbub, the, this was really, I suppose the star witness, uh, uh Caroline Ellison, what was it like? Tell us a little bit of, uh about what your experience was, was all about. Yeah, so this was a highly anticipated witness. Um, Gary Wong also did not disappoint. Um, you know, these were two witnesses with some what could be seen as some very, um very problematic statements for Sam Beck Mid Fried because basically both were portraying, you know, a lot of wrongdoing on the part of FTX and Alameda. But at the direction of Sam, Sam was, you know, kind of steering this ship. So, yeah, I think, you know, Caroline came off as, you know, very calm, very composed, um, very sort of straightforward. So, yeah, it doesn't, it's not looking very good for Sam Eckman Fried right now. You know, you, you mentioned she's, she was calm and composed. Uh, one of the things we don't get when reading, uh, some of the transcripts or, or discussions about the trial, it's the tone. What, what was the tone of the prosecution? What was the tone of the defense in this whole, in this whole matter? And, and, and what's the atmosphere, the, the judge et cetera? And, and how do you expect the jury to perceive it? Yes, that's a great question. So I think the real issue here is the judge. Now, there's been a lot written about this coin desk has covered it. The New York Times has covered it. But, you know, the judge has showed very visible impatience with the defense, you know, by basically impatience with the line of questioning and patience with what the judge sees as repetition. And, you know, by the time I was there yesterday, I think the judge had toned that down a little bit. It wasn't quite as obvious, but still you do get the feeling that the judge is a little bit more sympathetic to the prosecution. That is the tone for sure. The question is, you know, will this have an impact on the jury or not? And, you know, of course, it's hard to say is the judge actually more sympathetic to the prosecution or does the judge just not like the way that the defense is handling the questioning? But I think that's coming through, you know, as for the witnesses. Yes, I would say that both, you know, Gary and Caroline again, very straightforward, very calm. It wasn't like at this point it's not a particularly emotional trial, even though, you know, some of the questions that they're getting into with Caroline are about personal issues. You, her dating Sam in the past, I mean, this came up right away but so far the, the, the tone of it has been pretty, even kill the person who seems most annoyed is the judge. It seems, it seems we have, we have uh Nick Day actually has given us some sketches to give a sense of the tone. Uh Can we shut? Yeah. Does this accurately describe what's going on here? Yeah, I would say that like the expression that Nick, you know, brilliantly captures in that, in that sketch really captures, you know, Caroline's inner, inner feeling. So, yes, another classic from Nick, I mean, is, um is the look, is this question of whether crypto is on trial Emily or, you know, or is this just a good old fraud trial? I know we got into some of the weeds yesterday around the F TT token and so forth, which may have confused or at least, you know, been a, a, an introduction for some of the jurors into this complex topic. I mean, what's your take on that? Yeah. So that's what's fascinating to me, right? Is that you have some jurors, obviously, I don't know, for sure. But I'd imagine at least some of them probably have not given any thought to crypto before this trial. And you have a trial that is very complicated even for crypto people. Right? There's all these sort of different terms floating around. I will say that, you know, the crypto or tokens actually were mentioned quite a lot yesterday in reference to FTT and basically what was coming out. And I think this raises kind of a larger question about tokens like FTT, which is like, what are their actual value? Right? This was something that came up again and again, you know, F TT was on balance sheets, but, you know, the actual value on paper was very different from what the value would be if it were to be sold. And this was something that, you know, the witnesses said. And so I would imagine that like as a juror, if this is my first introduction to crypto, you're probably not getting the most positive impression because it's like, what, you know, what is FTT, how did this token even come to be? And what is its actual value? I think that's, that's also sort of on trial here.

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