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SBF Fraud Trial Begins

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried's criminal fraud trial begins today in a New York federal court with jury selection. The 31-year-old faces multiple felony counts including wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and campaign finance law conspiracy.

Bankman-Fried is accused of defrauding customers of cryptocurrency exchange FTX by secretly using billions of FTX deposits to cover losses at his separate investment firm, Alameda Research. The alleged scheme led to a loss of value in FTX's proprietary cryptocurrency token and the exchange's downfall. Once valued around $32B, the exchange filed for bankruptcy in November after news it was illicitly transferring funds caused a surge in withdrawals it couldn't cover. See timeline of events here.

The defense is expected to argue the actions in question were not fraudulent and may attempt to shift blame onto former girlfriend and CEO of Alameda Caroline Ellison—who pleaded guilty in December—based on an unposted, 70-page X (formerly Twitter) thread Bankman-Fried wrote.

Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to the charges. See who is expected to testify, including Ellison, here.

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