Sam Bankman-Fried blames his EX-LOVER for FTX collapse and $32BN loss, admits he lied about being moral

Daily Mail

Disgraced tech bro Sam Bankman-Fried has sensationally confessed his commitment to ethics was ‘a front’ and he ‘feels bad’ for those who were ‘f***** by it’ – as he blamed his ex-girlfriend for the FTX crisis.

The founder of the failed crypto platform, whose collapse has cost consumers billions of dollars, admitted his efforts to appear moral during the company’s heyday were a ‘dumb game we woke Westerners play’.

He sensationally said blame for the disaster at FTX lay with Alameda Research, the trading firm which he founded in 2017 and was run by his on-off lover, Harry Potter enthusiast Caroline Ellison.

Bankman-Fried, who owned a majority stake in Alameda, installed Ellison, 28, as CEO of the multibillion dollar fund in October 2021 despite her limited professional trading experience.

He appears to accept FTX lent Alameda billions of dollars in clients’ money without their knowledge or permission. The crisis at FTX was triggered when customers rushed to withdraw their funds but the company couldn’t pay out.

Bankman-Fried, 30, lived in a $40 million penthouse in the Bahamas, a tax haven, with Ellison in a 10-person ‘polycule’ made up his inner circle of FTX and Alameda executives.

He made his latest string of sensational comments in a car crash interview with Vox reporter Kelsey Piper.

Serious questions are now being asked of SEC chair Gary Gensler who is facing scrutiny over his relationship with the disgraced crypto wunderkind  – and the lack of oversight of the crypto market that Gensler has himself described as the Wild West.

Bankman-Fried’s sensational interview came as:

Before his downfall, Bankman-Fried sucked up to regulators and politicians in an effort to convince them cryptocurrency was a worthy asset that should be embraced.

But in the Vox interview, he said ‘f*** regulators’ and accused them of making ‘everything worse’.

Piper tells Bankman-Fried: ‘You were really good at talking about ethics, for someone who kind of saw it all as a game with winners and losers.’

Across a series of messages, he responds: ‘Ya, I had to be, it’s what reputations are made of, to some extent.

‘I feel bad for those who get f***** by it, by this dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shiboleths [sic] and so everyone likes us.’

Shibboleth generally refers to shared beliefs.

Bankman-Fried also appears to accept the suggestion that FTC ‘loaned [clients’] money to Alameda, who had gambled with their money, and lost it’.

He said he ‘thought Alameda had enough collateral to reasonable [sic] cover it’.

Alameda was thought to owe FTX $10 billion – more than half of FTX’s assets – after it was loaned the money despite being strictly forbidden by FTX’s terms of service.

Astonishingly, Bankman-Fried says his biggest mistake was filing for bankruptcy after FTX collapsed.

Despite his fundamental role in the failure of FTX, he claims ‘everything would be ≈70% fixed right now if I hadn’t [filed for bankruptcy]’

‘If I hadn’t done that, withdrawals would be opening up in a month with customers fully whole,’ he said.

‘But instead I filed and the people in charge of it are trying to burn it all to the ground out of shame.

‘I might still get there but after way more collateral damage.’

He added: ‘I have two weeks to raise $8 billion, that’s basically all that matters for the rest of my life.’

Authorities in America and the Bahamas, where FTX was based and Bankman-Fried is currently holed up, are discussing the possibility of extraditing him to the United States for questioning.

The scandal has triggered a crisis of confidence in cryptocurrency as a whole and caused the value of assets including Bitcoin to plunge.

Last week it was reported that Alameda was allegedly transferred $10 billion of FTX customer money in secret by Bankman-Fried.

Around $2 billion of the $10 billion transferred to Alameda is reportedly still missing.

The financial hole was revealed in records that Bankman-Fried shared with other senior executives last Sunday, sources said.

The records provided an up-to-date account of the situation at the time, they said. Both sources held senior FTX positions until this week and said they were briefed on the company’s finances by top staff.

Bahamas-based FTX filed for bankruptcy on Friday after a rush of customer withdrawals earlier this week. A rescue deal with rival exchange Binance fell through, precipitating crypto’s highest-profile collapse in recent years.

Ellison and Bankman-Fried are understood to have dated, but have since split.

According to CoinDesk, she was among the nine friends who lived with the former tycoon in a luxury penthouse in the Bahamas.

He said he slept mostly on couches and beanbags at the five-bed mansion, which he is now trying to sell for $40million.

A string of A-list celebrities who publicly backed disgraced crypto trading platform FTX have been sued in a class action lawsuit worth $11 billion.

Stars including Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Shaquille O’Neal, Steph Curry and Larry David are among those named in the suit filed in Florida.

It claims Bankman-Fried and the celebrities he recruited to endorse the firm are responsible for around $11 billion of losses to American consumers. Many of the stars were ‘ambassadors’ for the trading platform, while others appeared in prime-time commercials.

The suit, filed by class action attorney Adam Moskowitz, alleges they are collectively ‘responsible for the many billions of dollars in damages they caused Plaintiff’. It came as Bankman-Fried continued a desperate attempt to salvage his reputation on Wednesday by admitting: ‘We got overconfident and careless.’

He posted several tweets attempting to explain how FTX crashed and even talked up the firm’s extensive media coverage earlier this year, writing: ‘I was on the cover of every magazine, and FTX was the darling of Silicon Valley.’

Bankman-Fried is already subject to several investigations over the firm’s collapse.

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