Continuing her testimony, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison told the court about attempts to hide the hole in the firm’s balance sheet, the list of things that Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is “freaking out” about, and the possible bribery of a Chinese official. This is stated in the transcripts of the Inner City Press journalist.
Hard work Allison
According to SBF’s ex-lover, she prepared seven different versions of tables on Alameda’s financial condition for lender Genesis. Her job was to hide a $9.9 billion hole in the balance sheet.
The situation arose in June 2022, when the company was trying to attract investment just a few months before the collapse. At that time, the firm had already borrowed about $15 billion from FTX, including customer deposits.
Once again, Ellison stated that she manipulated the data at the direction of the founder of FTX.
“He told me to come up with alternative ways of presenting information. SBF wanted me to hide certain details of our balance sheet. […] “I did not intend to lie, but I presented the options to Sam and let him decide,” the former Alameda CEO said.
Of all the proposed presentations, he chose the one that did not reveal the hole in the budget, Allison said.
During the interrogation, she also said that she kept and regularly updated “a list of things that Sam gets mad about.” It included questions about the Snapchat purchase and investment from Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
SBF was also angry that regulators were not taking “strict action against Binance.” He considered the development of this scenario to be “the best potential way to increase FTX’s market share.”
Thai escort and bribes
Ellison said that in 2021, Alameda’s accounts on the Huobi and OKX exchanges were frozen as part of a Chinese government investigation into money laundering against the company’s counterparty.
Bankman-Fried was the firm’s CEO at the time. To unlock the assets, he hired local lawyers to negotiate with the authorities, but to no avail.
SBF then decided to resort to “various trading strategies.” According to Allison, her boss created several accounts that identified themselves as “Thai prostitutes.”
He traded from these accounts, taking positions opposite to those on the blocked accounts. Thus, while the main account was losing money, the “escort traders” were making money.
Another Alameda employee floated the idea of bribing a Chinese official. Bankman-Fried was initially against it, but then supported the proposal. Ultimately, the accounts were unfrozen, and Allison suggested a bribe scenario.
Bankman-Fried’s disheveled appearance in court and short haircut was a clever PR strategy, his ex-girlfriend said.
Allison explained that SBF called his hair “very valuable.” Since his early days as a trader at Jane Street, he had received higher bonuses “because of his hair.”
According to the ex-CEO of Alameda, the founder of the collapsed exchange tried to create an image for himself as an “eccentric pioneer of the cryptocurrency market.” Bankman-Fried told reporters that he drives an old Toyota Corolla. However, before these statements, he was driving an expensive company car, Allison added.
Court filings indicate that SBF was preparing to close Alameda as early as September 2022. He even prepared a draft for a post in X, which investigators discovered.
“We came. We saw. We explored,” began the introduction.
Bankman-Fried described Alameda Research as one of his “biggest successes, and then biggest failures, and then successes again.”
He called the company “the one thing that keeps the ecosystem running” and “the buyer who is willing to buy when no one else is.”
“[Alameda] has become a major global source of liquidity, leadership and support for the entire ecosystem. And, you know, from time to time we made good deals,” Bankman-Fried listed the company’s advantages before its potential closure.
Let us remind you that on October 3, hearings in the SBF case began. The latter has been charged with seven criminal counts, including conspiracy to commit fraud.
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