San Francisco– Sam Bankman-Fried, former Co-founder and CEO of collapsed crypto exchange FTX, finally testified in court without jury’s presence, saying he has not done anything wrong and lawyers were involved in making key decisions at the company.

The former FTX CEO, charged with seven counts of fraud and money laundering, took the stand on Thursday to testify on his own behalf at the Southern District of New York courthouse.

.S District Judge Lewis Kaplan decided that Bankman-Fried would initially provide testimony without jurors.

His first words spoken on the stand were: “Good afternoon,” reports TechCrunch.

Bankman-Fried swayed back and forth during the cross-examination.

He put forward arguments that he was acting on legal advice in good faith, reports the BBC.

He said he had discussed many other arrangements with his lawyers, including personal loans he received from Alameda, and its role as a “payments processor” for FTX.

“Did you take comfort from the fact that lawyers had structured the loans?” Bankman Fried’s attorney Mark Cohen asked.

“Yeah, of course,” he responded. He added he had trusted his legal team to prepare applications for bank accounts for his companies.

“I trusted that they were proper forms,” Bankman-Fried was quoted as saying.

The judge, however, warned the former FTX CEO that he was pretty “dubious” about some of the arguments.

“Listen to the question and answer directly,” Judge Kaplan instructed Bankman-Fried.

Asked if it was his understanding that crypto trading firm Alameda Research was permitted to spend FTX customer funds, he responded: “I wouldn’t phrase it that way but… yes.”

Earlier, Indian-origin Nishad Singh, a former director of engineering at the collapsed crypto exchange, testified that he had a lot of admiration and respect for Bankman-Fried but over time, that “eroded”.

According to Singh, Bankman-Fried’s frequent dipping into customers’ funds was at times done “unilaterally” and was often “excessive”.

Singh testified that he learned two months before the crypto exchange blew up that it was improperly using customers’ money.

Like previous witnesses Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX Co-founder Gary Wang, Singh has also pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy counts.

The FTX trial is expected to last six weeks.

FTX — once the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange — filed for bankruptcy in November last year. (IANS)