In November 2022, Marc-Antoine Julliard, a cocoa broker based in London, found himself in the spotlight as he fielded questions from prosecutors regarding his cryptocurrency holdings on FTX. This development unfolded in the ongoing criminal case against Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, who is also known as SBF. The prosecuting attorneys have embarked on the journey of summoning witnesses to the stand.
A riveting thread posted on October 4th by Inner City Press (formerly Twitter) shed light on the proceedings. In this thread, it was revealed that assistant United States attorneys presented a compelling testimony from Marc-Antoine Julliard, the aforementioned cocoa broker who had ventured into crypto trading through FTX. Julliard’s narrative unfolded as he recounted how he stumbled upon the crypto exchange through a friend, enticed by the alluring advertisements featuring Gisele Bündchen. He candidly shared his experience of utilizing the FTX mobile app for trading various cryptocurrencies, including the ever-enigmatic Dogecoin.
During his testimony in court, the cocoa broker disclosed that he possessed a stash of 4 Bitcoins, valued at approximately $80,000 at that time. However, he found himself unable to withdraw these funds from FTX in November 2022. This predicament arose in the wake of a cryptic Twitter post by Bankman-Fried assuring users that their “assets were fine.” Inquisitively, SBF’s legal team probed Julliard about his prior interactions with FTX and the rationale behind his crypto investments.
The courtroom drama is set to intensify with a lineup of notable witnesses, including Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research; Gary Wang, co-founder of FTX; Nishad Singh, former director of engineering at FTX; Constance Wang, former COO of FTX; and Anthony Scaramucci, co-founder of SkyBridge Capital. The burning question remains whether Bankman-Fried himself intends to take the witness stand.
The morning of October 4th marked the completion of jury selection by Judge Lewis Kaplan. Subsequently, defense attorneys and prosecutors commenced their opening arguments in this high-stakes criminal trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thane Rehn asserted that SBF had deceived FTX users, lawmakers, and the public regarding the financial stability of the company. Conversely, the defense team for the former CEO partially attributed blame to Caroline Ellison.
Bankman-Fried is currently facing seven criminal charges related to the alleged misappropriation of FTX customer funds in his initial trial, to which he has pleaded not guilty. In a subsequent trial scheduled for March 2024, he will confront an additional five charges, further intensifying the legal saga.