Sam Bankman-Fried appeared to be on the verge of tears late Wednesday at the end of his attorney Mark S. Cohen’s closing remarks, the former FTX CEO’s last, best hope for acquittal, or at least a hung jury.
“Sam did his best to start and operate two multi billion dollar businesses in a new market,” Cohen said at the conclusion of his emotionally-charged remarks before a 12-person jury.
“Some decisions turned out well… some decisions turned out poorly,” he added.
At the end of the proceeding – which stretched past 6pm – he offered an appeal for the jury to find Sam acted in “good faith” throughout his time running FTX and Alameda Research, his crypto trading firm, and therefore could not be convicted of fraud .
He asked the jury to consider the real world when they begin their deliberations on Thursday. In Cohen’s telling, it was “real world miscommunications,” “mistakes,” and “delays,” that imperiled FTX and the rest of Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire – not intentional fraud.
Bankman-Fried spent these final few moments of his team’s closing arguments, a ramrod stillness replacing his usual jitters. He stared at his parents, blinking heavily and drinking big gulps of water. Sitting a few rows back in the gallery, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried appeared similarly taken by the proceedings.
As Bankman-Fried walked out of the courtroom on Wednesday evening, his mother – sullen and steely-eyed throughout the trial – uncrossed her crossed arms, palmed her heart and then sunk her face into her hands.
This is a developing story.