NEW YORK — Sam Bankman-Fried is set to testify in his criminal fraud trial tied to the beginning as soon as Thursday after prosecutors call their final witness, FBI Special Agent Marc Troiano.

While Bankman-Fried has tried to frame the collapse of his FTX crypto exchange as an unavoidable accident – he gave interviews to reporters, started a Substack newsletter and tweeted to explain his company’s downfall after it filed for bankruptcy in November 2022 – he is exposing himself to tough questioning from prosecutors.

The former exchange CEO is accused of misusing his customers’ and investors’ funds, to the tune of over $8 billion lost by the time FTX filed for Chapter 11. The U.S. Department of Justice has argued over the past few weeks that Bankman-Fried directed various actions that let Alameda Research – another of his firms – misappropriate funds and then hid losses until the “house of cards” abruptly collapsed.

Bankman-Fried’s former colleagues and inner circle – former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, former FTX Director of Engineering Nishad Singh and former FTX Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang – all testified against him, telling a jury in the New York courtroom that he specifically directed them to allow Alameda to tap FTX customer funds and to hide those actions from the companies’ investors.

The defense also intends to call financial expert Joseph Pimbley, Bahamas-based attorney Krystal Rolle and at least one other potential witness, lead defense attorney Mark Cohen said during a teleconference on Wednesday.

Read all of CoinDesk’s coverage here.

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