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The jury commenced deliberations on Nov. 2 in the case of United States v Bankman-Fried. The allegations pertain to fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering tied to the downfall of FTX and Alameda.

The highly-publicized trial against Sam Bankman-Fried, centering around the substantial fall of FTX, reached a crucial point after both the prosecution and defense delivered their closing statements.

The defense portrayed the founder of FTX as a regular individual, challenging the government’s assertion of deliberate fraud and criminal motives.

On the other hand, government lawyers argued that Bankman-Fried had multiple opportunities to come forth with the truth, especially after both companies declared bankruptcy. He, however, chose not to.

Defense lawyers contended that testimonies from Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh were merely attempts to protect themselves from intensive legal consequences. They insisted that no illicit activities took place under FTX and Alameda’s operations, refuting the idea that former executives were whistleblowers.

In contrast, the prosecution depicted Bankman-Fried as an influential figure who strategically picked his team and dictated all major decisions. They underscored the consistency in the testimonies of Ellison, Wang, and Singh and urged the jury to weigh them against Bankman-Fried’s behavior during his testimony.

The defense countered, saying Bankman-Fried neither inspected the code bug nor accessed FTX’s database. In response, the prosecution highlighted his MIT background and previous Congress testimonies, emphasizing his capability to persuade both investors and legislators.

Prosecutors also pointed out the lack of key personnel in departments like risk management and miscommunications with legal teams as deliberate moves by Bankman-Fried to perpetrate fraud.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Senior District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan directed the jury to discuss and arrive at a decision.

Bankman-Fried faces seven counts, with two related to wire fraud against FTX clients and Alameda’s financiers. The location for the trial is the Southern District of New York.

The other five counts revolve around conspiracy. For two of these counts, the Judge clarified that proving an agreement between at least two individuals to violate the law would be sufficient. Bankman-Fried is also accused of plotting securities fraud.

He’s charged with conspiracy to launder money in count one, while count seven pertains to concealing and committing money laundering. Should the jury find Bankman-Fried guilty, they will have to determine the exact charges on their verdict form.

The jury was guided to overlook reasons for witnesses like Ellison entering cooperation deals. Judge Kaplan reiterated that the charges against Bankman-Fried do not encompass campaign finance misdeeds or bribing Chinese officials. Yet, the jury can assess these in the conspiracy context.

In her testimony, Ellison alleged that Alameda’s co-CEO, Sam Trabucco, in collaboration with the defendant, proposed a plan to release $1 billion from frozen Chinese accounts, which entailed a $100 million bribe to officials in Beijing. The proposed method for this transaction involved transacting cryptocurrencies to Thai escort wallets.

As the jury began deliberations, alternate jurors were cautioned against external influences on the case. The decision, which could come within hours or extend to days, is eagerly anticipated. The jury comprises 12 members for this trial.