“He may be at the very top of the list as the worst person I’ve ever seen do a cross examination,” said Mills, a close friend of Bankman-Fried’s parents.
The 76-year-old Mills says that while the verdict was inevitable, SBF refused to adopt a key strategy in the face of his co-founders throwing him under the bus on the witness stand, Bloomberg reports.
“I thought it was almost impossible to win a case when three or four founders are all saying you did it,” said Mills. “Even if they’re all lying through their teeth, it’s really, really hard to win a case like that.”
Mills says that if he had his way, SBF would have admitted to everything the witnesses and prosecution said, and then focused on convincing the jury that it was all part of a good-faith effort to save FTX.
“That’s not how Sam remembers things, to put it kindly,” said Mills. “I thought there was a really good story there. But he can’t tell the story that all these people are lying. You got five people who say one thing, one person says another thing. Well, you’ve got no shot—zero.”
Instead of admitting to his mistakes, SBF became combative, quibbling over prosecutors’ phrasings, while claiming not to remember damning statements he made. The now-jailed SBF came off as evasive, while his cross examination devolved into death by a thousand cuts, as prosecutors dragged his nose in his own words.
Mills eventually had enough, and was notably missing from the courtroom when the jury delivered its verdict.
Meanwhile, he says he won’t have anything to do with any appeal by the FTX co-founder, and worries about his relationship with SBF’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.
“I’m concerned, when you believe in your child’s complete innocence, that you need to blame someone,” he said. “and I am a likely candidate.”
Bankman and Fried, meanwhile, said in a statement: “We love David Mills. He has been a fantastic lawyer for us. He has also been an amazingly steadfast friend and will be grateful to him for being with us in a dark time, forever.”
Mills isn’t so sure.
“My sadness for them is extreme, and I don’t know that our friendship will survive this.“
So sad. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that SBF was convicted of fraud, and dug his own grave. In February, he will face five additional charges at a second trial, including bank fraud and bribery. Source: ZeroHedge