Sam Bankman-Fried's interviews give a vivid picture of his demise

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Sam Bankman-Fried's interviews give a vivid picture of his demise

We may not know for weeks whether Sam Bankman-Fried will take the stand at his own trial. He may want to explain himself to the jury, but his lawyers are surely wary of the withering cross-examination such a tactics would invite. No matter, the unconventional former cryptoexec has already said - publicly - plenty about what went down in FTX's final days.

The following are a series of excerpts from interviews that SBF gave in the month between FTX's collapse and his arrest in the Bahamas. They give a vivid picture of the mind of the man prosecutors allege were behind one of the greatest financial frauds in history. The man himself said that he was a well-meaning altruist whose heady risk-taking got him in over his head.

In late December, a Wall Street Journal interviewer pressed SBF about his knowledge of operations at Alameda, the cryptocurrency hedge fund, accused of borrowing billions of dollars in crypto from FTX and its unknowing customers. According to SBF, who owned Alameda and lived with its CEO Caroline Ellison, he, too, didn't fully know what was going on there, a refrain he later echoed in documents shared with the New York Times.

SBF told Andrew Ross Sorkin, the New York Times' headline-grabbing interview with the felled CEO. Although SBF insists, U.S. customers still haven't gotten their money back. Look out for prosecutors to explain why - this argument is the source of at least one ongoing procedural dispute between the defense and the DOJ.

Even though today is the first day of trial, we won't hear too much - opening arguments won't begin until at least tomorrow. Today's voir dire procedure is being instituted, he said. We should get final confirmation from Judge Lewis Kaplan regarding whether he intends to use any of the proposed questions from the Department of Justice and Defense.