Disgraced 31-year-old former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried feels “broke” and “hated” and says there’s nothing he can do to change the public’s negative perception of him, according to 250 pages of writings penned since his house arrest in December.
The manuscript was leaked to crypto journalist/YouTuber Tiffany Fong, who subsequently shared it with the New York Times, which then published some of the material this week.
Bankman-Fried is in custody awaiting trial next month, having been charged with a plethora of alleged crimes including wire fraud, money laundering, misusing customer funds, and campaign finance law violations.
Some of the writings come in the form of a planned (but unposted) series of tweets of justifications over his role in the multibillion dollar collapse of FTX and 130 affiliated entities, the biggest bankruptcy in the industry’s history so far.
“I’m broke and wearing an ankle monitor and one of the most hated people in the world,” he drafted. “There will probably never be anything I can do to make my lifetime impact net positive.”
Bankman-Fried also deflects blame for the collapse onto a couple of his colleagues, most notably his ex-girlfriend and former CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison. Bankman-Fried is accused of having sent customer funds to Alameda Research to shore up its balance sheet after the trading firm took heavy losses on several bad trades.
In another document leaked to Fong, Bankman-Fried writes of Ellison: “She continually avoided talking about risk management — dodging my suggestions — until it was too late. […] Every time that I reached out with suggestions, it just made her feel worse. I’m sure that being exes didn’t help.”
Elsewhere in the leak, Bankman-Fried pleads ignorance that Alameda was appropriating customer funds using an account called “fiat@” until he overheard a group of his employees (including Ellison) talking about it in Spring 2022.
The former CEO maintains that he never misused customer money.
This Week in FTX…
Several months after the sudden and dramatic collapse of FTX, Bankman-Fried’s ongoing battle with the authorities arguably remains one of the biggest stories in the industry right now, alongside Ripple’s three-year battle against the SEC.
On Tuesday, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan dismissed Bankman-Fried’s request for pretrial release in order to prepare for his coming trial. Kaplan rebutted the plea, saying that the time given to Bankman-Fried has been sufficient.
On Wednesday, Judge John Dorsey, who is overseeing its bankruptcy proceedings, approved FTX’s proposal to sell $3.4 billion in Solana, Ethereum, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital is the appointed investment manager overseeing the sale which, according to the plan, is currently capped at $100 million of tokens per week, but could be increased to $200 million on an individual token basis.
On Thursday, Bloomberg published a feature detailing how Bankman-Fried’s parents supported his ascent. His father had been present in meetings where FTX token marketing issues and tax matters had been discussed.
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