The trial of FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) continues in a multibillion-dollar fraud case with the assembly of a diverse jury in Manhattan, while the Department of Justice orders the seizure of private jets believed to be owned by him.
Court Approves a Panel of 12 Jurors
On the second day of trial proceedings in New York, the court recognized a jury panel consisting of 12 members selected from an initial pool of 45 candidates. According to October 4th reports, the final panel consists of nine women and three men. This jury comprises individuals from various professions and backgrounds, including a retired corrections officer, a pediatric nurse, and a special education teacher.
Interestingly, one juror was disqualified from service after disclosing their connection to a company that held investments in both FTX and Alameda Research.
District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan presided over the selection process for both the prosecution and defense teams before announcing the final juror list.
During the trial, several witnesses testified before the proceedings were adjourned for the day. This includes Marc Julliard, who suffered financial losses worth $800,000 in the FTX collapse, and SBF’s former associate Adam Yedidia.
Seizure of Private Jets
Concurrently, in a filing from the same day, the Department of Justice issued a forfeiture bill that included the listing of two aircraft—the Bombardier Global and the Embraer Legacy. These assets potentially belong to Bankman-Fried and could be subject to seizure.
Aircraft tracking data indicates that both jets are listed as having “private” owners. These aircraft are at the center of an ownership dispute between the DoJ and FTX, as revealed in a September 21 court filing related to bankruptcy proceedings.
Island Air Capital (IAC) filed for relief from the automatic stay in the FTX bankruptcy case. It acquired the Embraer Legacy and the Bombardier Global for $12.5 million and $15.9 million, respectively, using “financing provided from FTX,” according to the document.
However, FTX claims that the loans used to acquire the aircraft were not adequately documented, thus establishing their ownership claim.
The DoJ aims to use the proceeds from these luxury assets to recover funds for the creditors of Bankman-Fried’s former company.
The Trial Continues
Sam Bankman-Fried is currently facing a criminal trial in New York on seven fraud and conspiracy charges. He is facing allegations of diverting billions from FTX customer accounts for speculative trades through the affiliated hedge fund, Alameda Research. Furthermore, he is accused of directing these funds toward lavish real estate acquisitions and political contributions.
The former FTX CEO has vehemently denied all these charges and entered a plea of not guilty. Notably, his trial is scheduled to extend over six weeks.