Sam Bankman-Fried says he ‘did not ever attempt to commit fraud’ By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried poses for an image, in an unspecified location, on this undated handout image, obtained by Reuters on July 5, 2022. FTX/Handout by way of REUTERS/File Photograph

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of now-bankrupt crypto alternate FTX, tried to distance himself from suggestion of fraud in his first public look since his firm’s collapse surprised traders and left collectors dealing with losses totaling billions of {dollars}.

Talking by way of video hyperlink on the New York Instances’ Dealbook Summit with Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wednesday, Bankman-Fried mentioned he didn’t knowingly commingle buyer funds on FTX with funds at his proprietary buying and selling agency, Alameda Analysis.

“I did not ever attempt to commit fraud,” Bankman-Fried mentioned within the hour-long interview, including that he would not personally suppose he has any legal legal responsibility.

The liquidity crunch at FTX got here after Bankman-Fried secretly moved $10 billion of FTX buyer funds to Alameda Analysis, Reuters reported, citing two folks conversant in the matter. At the least $1 billion in buyer funds had vanished, the folks mentioned.

Bankman-Fried advised Reuters in November the corporate didn’t “secretly switch” however quite misinterpret its “complicated inner labeling.”

FTX filed for chapter and Bankman-Fried stepped down as chief govt on Nov. 11, after merchants pulled $6 billion from the platform in three days and rival alternate Binance deserted a rescue deal.

Bankman-Fried mentioned he was talking from the Bahamas and that the interview was in opposition to the recommendation of his legal professionals. He was seen within the video hyperlink speaking from a room, wearing a black T-shirt and infrequently consuming from a mug.

The implosion of FTX marked a surprising fall from grace for the 30-year-old entrepreneur who rode a cryptocurrency growth to a web price that Forbes pegged a yr in the past at $26.5 billion. After launching FTX in 2019, he grew to become an influential political donor and pledged to donate most of his earnings to charities.

He mentioned Wednesday that he now has “near nothing” left and is down to 1 working bank card with “possibly $100,000 in that checking account.”

Since FTX filed for chapter, Bankman-Fried has distanced himself from the picture he projected in media interviews and on Capitol Hill, telling a Vox reporter his advocacy for a crypto regulatory framework was “simply PR” and his discussions on ethics throughout the trade have been at the very least partly a entrance.


Bankman-Fried mentioned that Alameda had constructed up a considerable place on FTX and that as digital asset costs plummeted this yr, Alameda grew to become more and more extra levered to the purpose of no return earlier this month.

“Realistically talking, (there was) no means for FTX to have the ability to liquidate that place and generate every thing that was owed,” he mentioned.

Requested about compliance, Bankman-Fried mentioned his corporations “utterly failed” on danger administration.

“There was no one who was mainly answerable for positional danger of consumers on FTX, and that feels fairly embarrassing on reflection,” he mentioned.

He added that he “wasn’t attempting to commingle funds,” however mentioned that when FTX did not have a checking account, some clients wired cash to Alameda and have been credited on FTX, which seemingly led to discrepancies.

Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO of Alameda in October 2021, 4 years after founding the corporate, and ceded the function to Caroline Ellison and Sam Trabucco, who acted as co-CEOs till Trabucco departed the agency in August.


Bankman-Fried mentioned he was “confused” as to why FTX’s U.S. entity will not be processing buyer withdrawals. Redemptions are at the moment paused for each U.S. and worldwide clients.

“To my data all American clients and all American regulated companies listed below are, I feel at the very least by way of consumer property, are okay,” he mentioned, including that derivatives contracts at one in all its U.S. subsidiaries have been “absolutely collateralized.”

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