Sam Bankman-Fried Opens Up About Huge Donations
- Sam Bankman-Fried claims he broke up with Caroline Ellison because she wanted more than he could give.
- Bankman-Fried blamed some of his former employees for FTX’s downfall.
- The former FTX founder denies committing fraud.
Former FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried gave his own version of his relationship with Caroline Ellison and his controversial political donations. Bankman-Fried claimed he did not discuss his donations with former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame and FTX engineering director Nishad Singh. Instead, he claimed the funds came from loans from Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried reportedly donated millions of dollars to US political parties as part of his efforts to secure favors in Washington. The 31-year-old told the court on Friday that he “thought policy was important. Congress and the executive branch… Some were [supportive of] FTX for cryptocurrency lobbying. Some, not most.”
When asked about his relationship with Ellison, Bankman-Fried claimed things ended because she “wanted more than I could give.” His response comes days after Ellison, in her testimony, admitted that things ended with Bankman-Fried because he “wasn’t spending much time” with her.
As widely suspected, Bankman-Fried tried to place the blame for FTX’s collapse on some of his employees rather than his deliberate misconduct. He told the court that he asked Ellison to hedge Alameda’s risks, but she failed to do so.
Bankman-Fried also claimed to have “supervised” FTX’s chief technology officer, Singh, and head of technology, Wang, but that they were free to make independent decisions and that he was more of an advisor.
Bankman-Fried’s defense team sought to change the narrative about FTX’s downfall on Friday and paint the story in a way that favors the former FTX CEO. They depicted FTX as a well-meaning organization that fell as a result of poor management rather than pure intentions to commit fraud.
Bankman-Fried told the jury on Friday that he wasn’t guilty of fraud as accused by prosecutors. The 31-year-old claimed he thought FTX’s expenses on naming rights came from the company’s earnings.
Several former FTX executives have testified against Bankman-Fried. However, the former crypto billionaire has painted himself as a novice who ventured into crypto with no experience and made huge mistakes.
Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial has garnered much media attention and coverage since it began a few weeks ago. Several reports claim the trial is one of the most widely followed white-collar fraud trials since the Elizabeth Holmes saga of 2022.