Jurors spent less than five hours deliberating before returning the verdict.
I am sadder than I expected to be for a verdict that was so obviously correct and just. It's terrible that a promising 31 year old is going to spend decades in a cell. Ultimately the man just couldn't help himself. All that very basic advice he was too smart to listen to could have saved him a lot of prison time if he could bear to admit other people in the world might actually know things. He's his own worst enemy and it's a tragic case on several levels.
I wonder if Michael Lewis is doing okay
Thanks so much for your coverage of the trial! The livestreams in particular were a lot of fun.
The verdict is in: Molly White is GUILTY... of good reporting!
Ok this is my last comment haha (maybe) but Molly got mentioned in the "Seen at the trial" section about famous and influential people in the Wall Street Journal!
the NY Post solemnly tosses its “Bank Man Freed” front page into the fire, and slowly lifts “Bank Man Fried” into the air as the crowd roars
You’ve really done a great job covering this trial Molly. Thank you for all your coverage across all the platforms. The live streams were fun.
The right verdict, although on some level hard to take pleasure in seeing someone destroy their life. But thanks for the great coverage Molly, and I hope you can take a break yourself after these intense weeks!
So, exactly a year to the day from when that Coindesk article came out. Astonishing this was done so quickly--the arrest, trial, and conviction.
I served on a federal jury in that courthouse in the 1990s. We agreed on some of the counts immediately, but struggled over the last two counts--requested clarification on law, reheard some evidence. We deliberated for most of two days--but came to a guilty verdict on all counts. The defense lawyers told us they count their victory by the number of hours a jury deliberates. That we took as long as we did they counted as a victory for their defense.
So I was surprised that the jury took barely 4 hours to settle 7 counts. To me, that indicates that when they walked into that room they had already settled on guilty. The time deliberating was going over the counts, clarifying law and some evidence to justify the verdict. It means there was no doubt--no one wanted to wait until next Monday to go over this any more. They were so done.
Now it just seems kind of sad--perhaps only Michael Lewis had any doubt he was guilty (but he'll call it a "lynching"--ignoring the fact that Sam was convicted after a fair trial).
And now who is next from this shady industry to face the courts. I am unconvinced that there's even one person in this field not doing something dodgy.
There is no question that the judge will throw a whole library at Sam. What I am curious to see what the judge does about Ellison and the others who testified against him. They certainly did their jobs as in the witness box!!! Also, Sam brings to mind a quote attributed to President Eisenhower: "never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut."
Hallelujah. (Assuming the charges stick.)
Pardon my ignorance, but why is the sentencing scheduled for five months from now (as opposed to much sooner)? Is that normal for criminal cases?
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the comments posted here. Many shared useful knowledge and insights, many were very witty and entertaining, and many were both. Consciously or not, I think that everyone tried hard to match the high standards that you set, Molly, and for the most part, spectacularly succeeded. I thank everyone, I'm going to miss y'all...
Wow. A friend texted me and I was like "That can't be right, they just started deliberating."
Trials like this can be nerve wracking because even if every onlooker agrees how it's going, you just don't know how the jury is going to rule. There could be someone on the jury who, for whatever random reason like their grandson or best friend looks exactly like the defendant, they just inexplicably decide the defendant is innocent, no matter the argument.
Anyway, I join everyone else in saying GREAT JOB MOLLY AND THANKS!!!!
Given what we know about the trial I don't see how Sam could have gotten off, especially when all the other big players in FTX flipped to get plea deals. And yet I find this rather sad since there are certainly far more despicable people who really fit the bill for being criminal much more than Sam. Certainly there are quite a few of them in the Crypto currency world. For such a bright guy Sam just really seemed like he didn't want to follow the normal rules and was willing to do high stakes gambling because he felt he was smart enough to fix things in the end. It's entirely possible they will recover all or most of the money since it seems like he tucked it away in all kinds of investments and some did well. If he had managed to get investors to give him more money early on instead of dipping into FTX funds he probably would have avoided all this. Then the liquidity crisis might have killed FTX but that's different than taking customers funds to finance big stakes gambling.
Thanks a lot for getting this out so quickly, Molly. I first heard of it a little while ago from a friend, and told him that I would hold off on believing it, given that it came so quickly, until I heard it from you. I hope you follow up later this week with your analysis of the closing arguments, and the factors that you think led to this lightning quick verdict.
Thank you Molly for your wonderful coverage. I'm sure that you are glad to be home, but you missed the surreal scene outside the courtroom afterwards, where Tiffany Fong, Zeke Faux, that fast-talking (expensive jpeg?) girl, and an NBC reporter were all kind of pre-interviewing each other. So weird.
Thank you for the excellent reporting, Molly! I hope you get some well-deserved rest now that the trial is over :)