Sam Bankman-Fried says he “never tried to commit fraud” while admitting that he made “a lot of mistakes” before the collapse of his 32 billion crypto empire. dollars, which has caused significant financial loss to users of his popular FTX trading platform.
The founder of the crypto exchange is now bankrupt FTX refuses to “intentionally” mix client funds with funds held by Alameda Research, his proprietary trading group.
“Obviously I made so many mistakes or things that I would give anything to start over,” Bankman-fried said in an interview at The New York Times Dealbook summit.
Almost out of the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried grins nervously, repeatedly taps his feet and appears to be shaking involuntarily as he is faced with numerous questions on topics ranging from drug use FTX employee’s prescription and improper transfer of funds to whether he knowingly ignores risk and compliance rules jeopardizing customer accounts.
“I did not pay enough attention to positions and position risks on the exchange and of Alameda in particular and . . . Basically, I underestimated the scale and speed of [crypto] What a market crash will look like,” he said.
“There is a significant difference between what is actually, audited finance. . . compared to what the dashboard we showed for the Alameda account, which shows significantly below the size of the positions.”
Bankman-Fried gave an interview just a few weeks after FTX, formerly the darling of the world electronic money industry, filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection. FTX’s demise stemmed from panic and explosive customer withdrawals across the crypto markets. In the end, it was discovered that up to $8 billion in funds was missing.
The collapse of FTX is being examined by criminal prosecutors and financial regulators in the United States and the Bahamas.
The 30-year-old admitted that his lawyers had asked him not to consent to interviews with journalists amid numerous investigations and pending lawsuits. “I think it’s my duty to talk and explain what happened,” he said. “I don’t see any point in sitting in my room pretending that the outside world doesn’t exist.”
“That’s not what I’m focusing on,” he said, when asked if he was worried about the possibility of criminal liability. “I had a bad month,” he added to the laughter of the audience.
Following the bankruptcy filing, Bankman-Fried was replaced as chief executive of FTX by John Ray, a restructuring expert who represented plaintiffs in the Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford scams. and help free Enron. Ray said he has never seen “business control fail so completely”.
“The [company] there are no disbursement controls that I believe are appropriate for a business enterprise,” Ray said in the court filing, adding that the company’s money was spent buying homes and personal belongings. employees and advisors of FTX.
In Wednesday’s interview, Bankman-Fried defended his view as one of the most prolific sponsor for the US Democrats in the most recent election cycle.
“My donations are primarily to pandemic containment and they are looking at primaries where there are outspoken pro-job candidates right now to prevent the next pandemic.”
Bankman-Fried will continue to face questions and charges from prosecutors, regulators, investors and up to 1 million creditors over FTX’s outstanding funds. When asked if he was leaving the Bahamas for the US, he said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if he was asked to give evidence at one of the many hearings about the exchange’s collapse. transaction.
A class action lawsuit filed on behalf of investors in the United States on Wednesday accused FTX of “really being a house of cards, a Ponzi scheme in which [FTX] shuffle client funds between their opaque affiliated entities.”