The trial of the former CEO of the defunct crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), resumed on October 10. As expected, the prosecution called Alameda Research’s ex-CEO and SBF’s ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, to testify against the defendant.
Ellison Does More Damage To Sam Bankman-Fried Defense
According to a thread on the X (formerly Twitter) platform by Inner City Press, which was present at the trial, Ellison confirmed what was already known as she stated that she and the defendant dated for a couple of years with their on-and-off relationship, beginning in the summer of 2020.
However, any affection or feelings that she may have had for the defendant didn’t seem to hinder her as she lived up to the hype as the prosecution’s star witness, providing key insights into how Sam Bankman-Fried allegedly misappropriated FTX’s customers’ funds through Alameda which she headed before its collapse.
During her testimony, she admitted that she had committed fraud alongside the defendant. Specifically, she stated that Sam Bankman-Fried directed her to commit these crimes. As to her involvement, she collaborated Wang’s testimony while stating Alameda (and her, by extension) took “several billions of dollars” from FTX customers and used these monies for investments.
Meanwhile, Ellison confirmed that Sam Bankman-Fried was the one who set up the systems and directed the trading firm to take the money. Besides using FTX’s customers’ funds for investments, Alameda also took around $14 million to repay its lenders. She also manipulated Alameda’s balance sheets, making the firm look risky to potential lenders.
FTT Token continues downtrend following Ellison's testimony | Source: FTTUSDT on Tradingview.com
Prosecution Uses Ellison To Drive Home Major Allegations
In its opening statement, the Prosecution alleged that Sam Bankman-Fried diverted customers’ fiat deposits to a bank account linked to Alameda, which Ellison confirmed on the stand. She stated that FTX received money into Alameda’s bank accounts between 2021 and 2022. The total sum deposited was between 10-20 billion dollars.
Alameda used some of these deposits to repay loans, investments, and stablecoin conversions like USDC. According to her, this summed up to about $2 billion. It didn’t stop there, though, as the trading firm used the other money for other Alameda-related purposes.
Sam Bankman-Fried and his lawyers have, at different times, tried to lay a foundation that SBF wasn’t in charge of Alameda and didn’t know what was going on at the trading firm after he stepped down as the CEO.
However, Ellison rebutted this on the stand as she stated that things didn’t change much, even when she became the co-CEO alongside Sam Trabucco, as she checked everything with Sam Bankman-Fried and directly reported to him. He also had the power to fire her.
Wire fraud on lenders to Alameda Research and conspiracy to commit wire fraud on lenders to Alameda Research is part of the seven charges brought against SBF. As such, Ellison’s testimony is deemed critical (as someone with first-hand knowledge) in the prosecution’s bid to prove these crimes beyond reasonable doubt.
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