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November 28, 2023

Sam Bankman-Fried to testify in federal fraud trial, attorney says

Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is set to testify in a federal fraud trial, according to an attorney representing some of the victims. Bankman-Fried allegedly helped facilitate a $2.2 million fraud scheme involving several cryptocurrencies, most notably Ethereum (ETH). The scheme was outlined in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) complaint against two companies -- NAC Foundation, Inc and 2017 Blockchain Holdings, LLC. Bankman-Fried allegedly aided in the scheme by acting as a middleman, providing liquidity to the companies and facilitating transfers. The SEC has not accused him of any wrongdoing. Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Robert Lesh, confirmed to The Block that his client has been asked to testify in the trial and is “fully cooperating” with the government’s investigation. “Mr. Bankman-Fried is, and has been from inception, a law abiding citizen of the United States,” Lesh said. “He did not participate in any of the alleged fraud and has fully cooperated with the government’s investigation. We trust that the testimony will fully demonstrate his non-participation in their alleged wrongdoing and will bear this out.” The trial is expected to begin in the fall.