Nov 3, 2023

A jury found Sam Bankman-Fried guilty on the first anniversary of the award-winning CoinDesk scoop that spurred the FTX founder's downfall.

Video transcript

A jury found Sam Bakri guilty on the first anniversary of the award winning Coindesk scoop that spurred the FTX founder downfall. Joining us now to discuss is Coindesk managing editor for Global Policy and Regulation. Nick Day. Welcome to the show, Nick. Hey, good morning, good morning to you. I'm sure you had a late night last night. You were in the courtroom when the juries came, the jurors came back with that verdict after just about four hours talk to us about what was going on. What was the sentiment? Were you expecting the jury to come back with a verdict so soon? So reporters did take a poll. Uh, one of her friends, uh uh, Jackie from techcrunch took a poll uh prior to the, you know, started a day asking will we get a verdict that day? And, uh I think the sentiment was if the jury had left at 435 or even six o'clock, uh as some of us kind of expected them to, we would not have a verdict, but the judge said he was inclined to hold them until eight o'clock asked them to take a vote on whether they wanted to stay until eight o'clock or not. And after they voted that they would stay until eight o'clock to deliberate, uh, the outcome seemed, I would say a lot more inevitable. There was going to be a verdict and it would be a, you know, very speedy verdict. So this might sound silly, but they were given dinner correct. I mean, before they deli, so in other words, that part of that four hours was just eating correct. They had a dinner hour from 6 to 7. Uh, it's unclear whether they deliberated through dinner or not, but they might have had a, an hour off. Yes. But so this, this is even faster than four hours. I mean, it could have easily have been like an hour and change and then it's like, all right, well, let's eat off the government's time one last time. The free pizza. Yeah, it was pizza. Was that the jurors got pizza that I thought they got other things. But, ok, now they got pizza, uh, according to the judge pizza is what the, you know, uh, government would provide. And, um, believe it or not, the courthouse cafeteria does actually make its own pizza. So it might well have been courthouse pizza. Did you try it? Nick, we're going to get to some more pressing questions. But I got to ask, did you try that courthouse pizza? The pizza from the court in the area separate from the jury? But, all right. Nick, I want to know about the reactions in the, in the courthouse. Sam Bateman Fried, of course known for his jittery actions during closing arguments. Um He was a little bit more, still a little bit more stoic. How did he react when the verdict was read? And how did his parents react? Yeah. So, um you know, it might be helpful to just in the words of Sam provide some context here right before the verdict was read out. Judge Lewis Kaplan asked him to stand and look at the jury box, you know, in the direction of the 12 men and women who had just been a couple of hours, you know, deciding on whether or not he was guilty. The lead four person, uh J number four was interned facing the judge and the court clerk. And, uh, you know, basically he was completely still as the clerk asked, you know, read out each charge and said, you know, what did you find? And she said guilty, uh, you know, each of, through each of the seven charges. He was pretty still when his defense attorney, Mark Cohen asked the judge to pull the jurors and basically, you know, affirm that they all were unanimous in the guilty verdict. And, uh, you know, again, that was a process where the clerk went down the road or went down to two rows of each juror and said, you know, is that your verdict? And they each said, Yes. So it was pretty still, uh, you know, courtroom itself was, you know, apart from the sketch artist and apart from the, you know, clerk and the four person or the jurors also completely silent, uh, you know, you could really tell that everyone was kind of one way or another. This was ending and it was a very, kind of, uh, you know, intense moment. Yeah. No. Well, I'm surprised it was another sketch artist. I thought that was your job. Um, I'm gonna miss those sketches by the way. The, um, yeah, so, so now they, they all sat there and his parents particularly were, were affected. Obviously, these are two attorneys, these are two people who know their securities law inside and out um, to watch their, their, their legacy to genetics. Uh Do this. Um What w how did, how was their reaction? Um So I wasn't looking at them during the actual reading of the verdict but, you know, afterwards it just looked like a set of parents whose son had just been, uh, you know, he wasn't sentenced but in reading the verdict, you know, we pretty much did have, uh, a sense that, you know, we know that Sam M cri is gonna go to jail or go to prison, excuse me. And it's probably going to be for a long time. So, you know, after the jury was let out, uh Joe Bachman, the father of Banken Fried was kind of you know, just sitting there just looking down at his hands class before him. His mother was a LC to his right, staring ahead in a kind of the general direction of the judge and the jury and, uh, you know, proceedings ahead of them. Um, and, you know, for a moment, yeah. You know, you have two parents whose son was convicted of some serious financial crimes and of leaving thousands of victims and stealing billions of dollars. Uh, you know, it's, I think, you know, in that moment, you know, you're not looking at the security law aspect or whatever. It's just ok. Yeah, you, your sons been convicted and what? He's going to prison. A a and after the, after the verdict was read, what was the reaction in the courtroom was whether it was just silent continuously or, uh, you know, sometimes there were cheers from victims like, but what was it like in there? No, it was silent apart from the sketch artist right before the jury had been let back in both the clerk and the judge had, uh, instructed everyone, you know, uh, in the judge's words, there will be decorum. They both said that, you know, it's me. No noise. No, you know, cheering, no demonstrations as the judge put it, uh, they, they basically told everyone, you know, you're gonna sit there, you're gonna be quiet and you're gonna wait until everything is over before you even think about heading for the door. So, uh, you know, no one was really, uh, you know, there were no cheering, uh, cries, you know, no yelling or anything. Um, there were, you know, whatever, 50 something reporters in there and none of us were bolted for the door because again, this is, you know, uh, the judge was very clear and the, you know, marshals are, you know, I'm sure, would not hesitate to cuff anyone who did try to, uh, you know, do something that might distract from the proceedings themselves. Nick, did the defense attorneys or state attorneys make any statements last night after they left the courthouse. Yeah, they both did. Um, you know, defense attorney Mark Cohen, uh, of course, just saying, uh, you know, be free, continues to believe that his innocent will continue to, uh, you know, fight for that. Um, we know that they're gonna look towards post trial motions. I think these are, uh, you know, not, that's not the appeal, the appeal will probably come later, didn't mention or confirm one way or another, uh, an appeal last night, but I imagine that's going to come. There is also, of course, the, you know, second trial which right now we're waiting to see if it happens from the DOJ side. Both us, Attorney Damien Williams from the southern district of New York and Attorney General Merrick Garland from DC, uh, made statements, you know, basically saying, uh, yeah, what you kind of expect to say right, they believe that they could be a criminal. They are thankful that he was convicted uh so on and so forth. All right, Nick, thanks for joining us this morning and get some rest. Thank you. That was Coin desk managing editor for Global Policy and Regulation. Nick Day.

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