by Leslie Eastman at legalinsurrection.com
SBF’s former girlfriend is expected to be an important witness in the fraud trial this fall
The last time we checked on Democratic Party Mega-Donor Crypto King Sam Blankman-Fried, he had been charged in a $250 billion fraud and was extradited to the U.S. from the Bahamas. After an appearance in court, SBF was freed after posing $250 million bail.
It appears that a diary belonging to Caroline Ellison, SBF’s former girlfriend, has reportedly emerged as a vital piece of evidence in the disgraced FTX founder’s upcoming fraud trial.
The personal notebook is part of a massive trove of documents and other insider materials that prosecutors have compiled as they build their case against Bankman-Fried, who faces trial in October, the New York Times reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.
Aside from Ellison’s notebook, which is filled with “handwritten observations,” prosecutors also possess “electronic documents” that she wrote, the report said.
Occasionally, Ellison reportedly “expressed personal and professional resentment” toward her former lover in the documents.
Ellison is set to testify against Bankman-Fried after pleading guilty to fraud charges late last year.
The personal notebook is one of six million pieces of evidence collected ahead of the upcoming trial.
The mountain of evidence ranks among the largest ever collected in a white-collar securities fraud case prosecuted by the federal authorities in Manhattan, according to data provided by a person with knowledge of the matter.
. . . . The diversity and growing volume of materials in the FTX case underscore the legal challenges facing Mr. Bankman-Fried, 31, who is charged with 13 criminal counts, including accusations that he misappropriated billions of dollars in customer money, defrauded investors and violated campaign finance laws. He has pleaded not guilty.
With the trial set for October, prosecutors have gathered evidence ranging from phones and laptops to the contents of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s Google accounts, which amounted to 2.5 million pages alone. At a hearing in March, Nicolas Roos, a federal prosecutor investigating FTX, said the government had obtained a laptop crammed with so much information that the F.B.I.’s technicians were struggling to decipher all of it.
“It is a massive amount to sift through, and sometimes you can find incredibly useful information,” said Moira Penza, a former federal prosecutor who’s now in private practice. “It is a real challenge.”
Ellison is expected to be an important witness in the upcoming trial.read more
Ellison lived in Bankman-Fried’s penthouse in the Bahamas alongside other FTX executives, and is often described in reports, including The Times’, as his “on-and-off girlfriend.”
She is expected to be a key witness in the case, having pleaded guilty to seven charges including securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.