SBF’s attorney disputes FTX’s claims about the company’s spending
Mark Cohen, SBF’s attorney, disputes claims that the defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange incurred losses due to careless spending.
Nishad Singh, a former executive at FTX, says he has certain problems with SBF’s spending but that the company needs part of the money SBF is spending.
The atmosphere was tense as SBF’s defense team vigorously refuted claims that he had spent recklessly at the defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange.
Ex-FTX CEO Nishad Singh was on the receiving end of Mark Cohen’s tough cross-examination as the main defense counsel for SBF in a high-stakes courtroom drama.
Much of the prosecution’s case rests on the claim that FTX’s large expenditures, especially those made in the form of celebrity endorsements, exemplified “reckless and frivolous” spending.
The huge sums of money involved, including the reported $130 million that FTX paid for naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena, seem to be the primary impetus behind these assertions. However, Cohen was eager to put that number in context.
He emphasized the long-term nature of these agreements. For example, the length of the Miami pact was remarkable at 19 years. As a result, the real annual expenditure in 2021 was just $14 million.
While Singh has acknowledged to fraud and campaign finance breaches, he did not seem to dispute the success of several SBF rulings.
Although he disagreed with certain expenditures, he recognized their importance in bolstering FTX’s reputation and competitive edge.
The fact that Singh and SBF were living together just added further confusion to the situation. During the trial, a $30,000,000 penthouse in the Bahamas became an issue.
Singh moved into the master bedroom after first expressing skepticism about the astronomical expense of the house.
It was also shown in court that Singh had previously had negative views about Alameda Research, the trade business owned by SBF. At first, Singh thought that FTX’s preferential treatment of Alameda was motivated by a desire to safeguard its customers.
This belief originated from the idea that doing so would strengthen trade “backstops.” Cohen’s investigation into the timeframe of Singh’s knowing of Alameda’s use of FTX customer assets revealed holes in Singh’s story.
Not everyone was convinced by Singh’s claims that he wouldn’t fully grasp the scope of Alameda’s actions until September 2022, particularly after an accounting exercise in June revealed the company’s dire financial position on the market.
Singh’s explanation that he sensed wrongdoing but chose to do nothing about it because of pressure from his peers didn’t hold water.