The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of one of cryptocurrency’s biggest exchanges, begins with a jury set to determine if he committed massive fraud by stealing billions of dollars from clients.
The 31-year-old — once one of the most respected figures in crypto — now faces decades in prison and could see his name stand alongside Bernie Madoff and Elizabeth Holmes as the era’s most prominent fraudsters.
The first day of the trial is devoted to jury selection for a case that is set to last about six weeks. Bankman-Fried faces seven counts including wire fraud, securities and commodities fraud and money laundering.
Bankman-Fried enters the courtroom alone — without being escorted by security guards — uncuffed, and takes his place alongside his lawyers, an AFP journalist observes. Dressed in a gray suit and striped tie, his usually long curly hair is cut short.