Ex-friends of ex-finance mogul Bankman-Fried to testify against him

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Ex-friends of ex-finance mogul Bankman-Fried to testify against him

Two of Bankman-Fried's former colleagues and friends will testify against the one-time cryptocurrency mogul, following plea deals they struck with the U.S. Department of Justice, including his former romantic partner Caroline Ellison and childhood friend Gary Wang, who were both deeply involved in the daily workings of both FTX and its quant-driven trading shop, Alameda Research. Two other individuals, who prosecutors have yet to publicly name, may testify if granted immunity, suggesting they may also be tied to the exchange. Prosecutors also said over the weekend that they plan to call former FTX customers from worldwide and investors as witnesses during the trial.

Caroline Ellison is among the most highly anticipated witnesses who are expected to take the stand against Bankman-Fried. As the one-time head of Alameda Research, the crypto hedge fund linked to FTX, she can speak to the companies' relationship and the amount of FTT it held, court documents show. She also had a personal relationship with the FTX founder. She is said to be one of the few insiders who actually knew what was going on inside FTX.

Brian Kim, a data analytics and forensics expert, may speak to internal messaging between Bankman-Fried and his employees at FTX and its sister companies. Bankman-Fried told his employees to destroy evidence of his companies' alleged fraud if he was called to the stand. That data would include the fields [of documents and messages] listing the author, custodian, and viewer, as well as the content created, modified, viewed, saved, and/or deleted dates, court filings show. If Bishop were called to testify, his focus would be on rebutting DOJ testimony.

Andrew Di Wu, a professor of finance and technology at the University of Michigan, may provide the jury with an understanding of how cryptocurrency exchanges, and the blockchain technologies that undergird them, operate. As part of his testimony, he may also explain to the court the unique complexities in operating centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, particularly those with cross-border operations, and the challenges in processing transactions in multiple fiat and cryptocurrencies. The defense said Wu's testimony could come in response to an FBI agent testifying for the prosecution.