Sam Bankman-Fried Testifies He Only Skimmed FTX Terms of Service, Is ‘Not Sure’ Who Was Making Decisions

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive officer of FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives E
Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried testified on Thursday that he was “not sure” whose decision it was to use FTX customer funds for investments on the hedge fund Alameda Research. SBF also admitted in court that he only skimmed his own platform’s terms of service.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Bankman-Fried “struggled” on the stand in the fraud trial against him. The former FTX CEO said that he acted in good faith because his lawyers blessed some of his actions and policies that led to the collapse of the digital currency platform.

Sam Bankman-Fried leaves the courthouse

Sam Bankman-Fried leaves the courthouse (Michael M. Santiago/Getty)

However, he often stumbled and was unable to recall conversations with lawyers.

Bankman-Fried said he was “not sure” whose decision it was to allow Alameda Research, the hedge fund and sister company of FTX, to receive FTX customer deposits. He also said that he thought FTX’s terms of service allowed Alameda to receive FTX customer funds, although he admitted he only skimmed certain parts of the document.

FTX customer funds were stored in an “omnibus wallet” instead of being stored in individual digital currency wallets.

Bankman-Fried also denied telling Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda and his ex-girlfriend, that he hired Daniel Friedberg as the company’s general counsel because the hire would allow him to take the risks he wanted.

Judge Lewis Kaplan chided Bankman-Fried for being evasive about whether  he had knowledge of Alameda’s ability to have a negative balance on its FTX accounts in May 2022.

“Part of the problem is that the witness has what I’ll simply call an interesting way of answering questions,” Kaplan said of Bankman-Fried.

Bankman-Fried said he had a policy at the company of not putting anything in writing that he would not be comfortable seeing on the front page of the New York Times.

Bankman-Fried stands accused of seven counts of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering on his alleged use of FTX customer funds to cover the losses of his hedge fund, Alameda Research. He also allegedly used those funds to purchase real estate and cover other personal expenses. Bankman-Fried pled not guilty to all counts and faces up to 110 years in prison.

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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