Ex-friends to testify in FTX fraud trial

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Ex-friends to testify in FTX fraud trial

Several former colleagues and friends will testify against the one-time crypto 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, both of whom were deeply involved in the daily workings of both FTX and its quant-driven trading shop, Alameda Research. Another two individuals, who prosecutors have yet to publicly identify, may testify if granted immunity, suggesting they may also be tied to the exchange. The DOJ said in a statement that prosecutors plan to call former FTX customers from around the world and investors as witnesses during the trial.

Caroline Ellison, among the most eagerly awaited witnesses, is expected to stand against Bankman-Fried. As the one-time head of Alameda Research, the cryptocurrency hedge fund tied to FTX, she can speak to the companies' relationship and the amount of FTT it held, court documents indicate. She also had a private relationship with the founder of FTX. She's said to be one of the few insiders who actually knew what was going on inside FTX.

Brian Kim, a data analytics and forensics specialist, may speak to internal messaging between Bankman-Fried and his employees at FTX and its sister firms. If he is called to the stand, he may testify on 'the content, metadata, and file paths associated with Slack data and Google documents' that allegedly Prosecutors instructed his employees to destroy evidence of Bankman-Fried's alleged fraud. This 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. Like Bishop, if he is called to testify, his focus would be on rebutting DOJ testimony.

A finance and technology professor at the University of Michigan, Andrew Di Wu, a professor of finance and technology, may give the jury an understanding of how cryptocurrency exchanges, and the blockchain technologies that undergird them, operate. As part of his testimony, he may also explain 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, a court filing said. The defense said that Wu's testimony could come in response to an FBI agent testifying for the prosecution.