Oct 16, 2023

Week three of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried's trial is kicking off.

Video transcript

The state of crypto is presented by Tron connecting the world to the power of Cryptocurrency. Good morning and welcome back to first mover. Week three of the Sam Bateman freed criminal trial begins today. This week we're expecting to hear from FTX, co founder and director of engineering, Nishad Singh Singh pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to fraud late last year. Joining us now to discuss is criminal defense attorney at Tully and Vice Joseph Tully. Welcome to the show, Joseph. Thank you so much for having me. Thanks for being here. All right, we are heading into week three. What do you think of the defense's strategy so far? Well, I think it's become apparent that the, what the strategy is and if I were to sum that up in a very kind of catch phrase, it would be SPF is an idiot. That's where they're going. That's what their goal is. Um But I don't think things are going too well for the defense in this case. So we, you know, Caroline Ellison had a, uh, you know, she was on the stand last week and it seemed that after several hours that they couldn't quite pin any of the responsibility or most of the responsibility on her seems to, she seems to have deflected a lot of it. Um, is that really the case or do you think that the defense has made any effort has done anything to kind of at least put some of the blame onto her? I think they, they definitely attempted to do that. But all the pundits that are covering this and all the media personnel who have covered this have all kind of characterized the defense as, you know, taking a swing and a yes and that they are trying to do, they are trying to build a defense. But number one, they're getting shut down by the judge on a lot of key important things. And number two is they're getting shut down by the witnesses. So I think they were attempting to, you know, build the defense of, you know, the SPF is an idiot defense. I think the one thing that they successfully did through Ellison was to establish that SPF was absent a lot that he was kind of an absentee guy. But I don't think that that will matter to the jury. I think that will matter matter to the jury is that when he was there, what did he do? The funds that went from FTX to Alameda who directed that and all the testimony is now that it's on, it's right at the hands of, of FSBF who was doing that you know, folks that were in the courtroom last week were kind of disappointed with the cross examination of Ellison. They said that the cross examination was lackluster. It was meandering. You couldn't really tell where it was going. Do you think that's part of a bigger strategy or do you think that the defense was just feeling defeated in that moment? It really wasn't what we were expecting from the cross examination of this huge witness. Sure. So cross examination is very, very tricky and it's, uh, it's completely different than what you see on TV. Normally speaking, it's very touch and go. It's very guarded. If you have a hostile witness, somebody who is a cooperator, someone whose future hinges on, you know, pointing the finger at your client, you, they're not going to be your friend. So you're going to have to out of them key facts that will be helpful to you. You get what you need and you move on and that is, it's a tricky thing to do, but a competent defense attorney can usually do that. So it is disappointing to hear that, you know, that the cross examination is described as meandering, as lackluster as, you know, taking a swing and getting Amiss. So let's say, uh, Saman Manfried, decide to hire you as his attorney. How would you defend him right now? Uh, going forward, given everything that's just happened, what would you suggest this, his defense do? So, I, I don't think that you can win everything. I think you have to um cut, cut your losses here, so to speak. So the government did overcharge this case to some degree. Um They can get him for, you know, the, the some of the fraud stuff but conspiracy. Um You literally have to prove that someone said I know this is wrong. I know this breaks the law. I want to do it anyway. And um, and I would get the intent on that. I would also um come a after my cross examination, people would be focused on, listen, you were doing the same thing, you know, to all the witnesses and you are trying to minimize your part in this and point the finger at SPF because the government has set you up. If you are successful, you don't get in trouble and if you don't do a good job, if, if the government can't convict SPF, then it's more weight on your shoulders. So, you know, it's basically the old, the old snitch model in terms of cross examination, you point out to the jury that basically these people are getting paid to make things look as bad as possible for my client. And again, you know, not paid in terms of money, but in paid, in terms of rewarded, in terms of a sentence that they're possibly looking at of X amount of years to a greatly reduced number of Y amount of years, Joseph, that's what you would do, but I want to get you to look into your Crystal Ball. Now, I recently read your article, Joseph Tully's legal Crystal Ball on the Trump indictment. And so do you mind unpacking what you think might happen in SB F's trial? What do you, what do you think we're going to see happen? Um, I think we, we are going to see a different tone in the defense. I think that, um, I, I, if these attorneys are really putting, they're all into this case, um, then what you might see is, uh, two ships in the night, uh, kind of defense. So where the prosecution is going one way and the defense is kind of going to let them do their thing and not interfere with it too much. And then the defense will be another ship in the night. Never touching that. A completely different tone, a completely different rhythm and like, ok, that's the prosecution's case. This is our case. They're going to put on expert witnesses. They're going to, to go with the, the SVF is in the, is an idiot kind of defense. They are going to talk about the medications that he was on any diagnoses. He might have a DH D, you know, bipolar and they're going to try to cut against that criminal intent towards a conspiracy. Again, not necessarily for what you do, but thinking about what you're going to do, you know, I know this is illegal, but I want to do it anyway. Um, so I think they'll, they'll, they will have a different tone. I'm hoping for the defense because I would like to see something. I do want to see vigorous competent representation and I think these are some of the best lawyers you could buy. Obviously, this is a big case. He wouldn't have just hired anybody. So, um, I think we'll see sort of just, just a different tone, tonal shift like water off a duck's back is the prosecution's case. And now we're going to do our thing. So do you think that them saying Sam needs access to his admiral to be more focused, is, is more part of their strategy than him actually needing access to that? Oh, I think that uh are you talking about when he did that uh in, in a hearing? And they made a big deal? They took a break. What most recently, Joseph, um, the defense has told the judge that he needs his Adderall to be more focused in court and also to take the stand if he's going to take the stand. Yes. Yes. So they are setting up a defense of they will have, even if it's not a defense here, it will play a part in sentencing that Adderall has these side effects. Um And that while it does keep you focused, there are these extreme side effects that can possibly explain why he was impulsive. Why he made these risky decisions. Those are all kind of side effects of these, of these drugs. So I think they're laying it on a little thick and I think that they've done it if you go back, not only as an instance that you pointed out that I wasn't aware of, but previous instances where they really make a big deal, they'll pause a hearing and take a break and put it on the record. To me. That that's a strategy of we're going to kind of blame the meds for some of this Joseph. Thanks so much for your insight there and thanks so much for joining us this morning. Thank you, take care and have a great day. You too. That was criminal defense attorney at Tully and Vice Joseph Tully.

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