Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the founder and former CEO of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, will have 15 days of trial in October to defend the litany of charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against him.
According to a court trial calendar released in late September, SBF’s trial will continue until the first week of November and may be stretched to 2024 if the case is not concluded by then.
SBF’s 15 Days of Trial
The calendar shows that SBF’s trial will start today (October 3), with the jury selection, while the opening arguments will be made on October 4. The remaining trial days for the week are October 5 and 6.
Four trial days are scheduled for each of the six dedicated weeks from October to early November, except the fourth, which has just two days. On the non-trial days, the court scheduled visiting hours for SBF, who is currently jailed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Notably, the court scheduled visiting days on public holidays like October 9 and November 10, which are Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day, respectively.
When Judge Lewis Kaplan asked the prosecution and defense to predict how long their cases may last, the former estimated four to five weeks while the latter said a week and a half. SBF’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, said his client’s case was more streamlined and should not take longer than necessary.
However, Judge Kaplan said the trial could end in late November, around Thanksgiving.
Are the Odds Against SBF?
Meanwhile, the odds seem to be against SBF, as most of his defense strategies have met roadblocks from the court. Yesterday, Judge Kaplan released an order that the alleged fraudster could not blame the legal advice of FTX’s counsel or the wrongdoings perpetrated at the crypto exchange before its implosion.
The judge insisted that using the advice of counsel defense was inaccurate in SBF’s case, considering the issues at hand.
A few weeks back, Judge Kaplan approved the DOJ’s motion to bar all seven expert witnesses proposed by SBF from the trial because their opinions were irrelevant to the case and could confuse the jury. He, however, denied SBF’s motion to dismiss the DOJ’s proposed expert witness, who will testify alongside FTX customers and investors.