In a recent news report, Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the collapsed FTX exchange, has blamed the CEO of Binance Exchange for leaking Alameda Research’s balance sheet report to the public. In addition, another piece of news revealed that Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend, has testified against SBF, revealing some secret operations executed prior to FTX’s collapse.
According to the recent evidence that was presented to the court in the ongoing trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, he reportedly believed that Binance was to be blamed for exposing the balance sheet of his other firm, Alameda Research, to the public in 2022.
The report revealed that Wednesday, Caroline Ellison testified that SBF drafted a memorandum on November 6, 2022, stating that some investors were interested in buying out the troubled FTX before its collapse. Furthermore, the file revealed that the FTX founder suspected the Binance exchange to be behind some PR campaign against FTX.
SBF Blames Binance Exchange
He alleged that Binance leaked his Alameda Research’s balance sheet to a crypto news platform, publicly broadcasting that the firm wanted to sell off $500 million in FTT (the native coin of FTX), hence warning customers to be cautious of FTX exchange, according to the report.
Prior to the memo, CoinDesk had posted on its website on November 2nd that it received Alameda’s balance sheet, and from the look of it, the firm was not in good standing. The report showed that the remark from CoinDesk prompted the sudden run on FTX, eventually leading to its collapse.
In addition, Bankman-Fried pointed out that FTX exchange capitalized and slightly liquid, and in clarification, Ellison elaborated that only $4 billion was active to execute withdrawals out of the total $12 billion customers’ funds kept on the platform. While playing her witness role, Elison revealed she was stressed when Binance exchange CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted that he wanted to liquidate his FTT token.
Ellison Deemed The Prime Witness
As the former CEO of Alameda Research and ex-lover of SBF, Caroline Ellison is deemed at the core of every internal activity of FTX and Alameda. Hence, she has been designated as the prime witness to testify against SBF, a duty she started serving on October 11th. Ellison told the court yesterday that SBF once tried to use Thai sex workers’ identities to release frozen funds before paying millions to Chinese officials as bribes.
In her testimony, Ellison highlighted that the Chinese authorities had frozen about $1 billion in assets, which Alameda Research had stored on the Huobi exchange and OKX exchange after the country’s regulators initiated a money laundering case against them. In order to get the frozen funds released, Bankman-Fried paid the Chaines officials a whopping $150 million as a bribe, according to Ellison’s testimony.
Furthermore, the former CEO alleged that SBF commanded herself and some other FTX executives to erase all messages related to their activities, which were sent via Signal Messenger.
Alameda Paid Off Chinese Officials: Ellison
She added that they tried to employ a lawyer in China who would help settle the case with the Chinese authority locally; however, the attempt was unsuccessful. After the failed attempts, SBF reportedly tried to use fake identities of Thai sex workers to release the funds before eventually bribing the officials.
Elaborating on the case, Ellison said they opened several accounts on OKX with Thai prostitutes’ identities and tried to make these accounts gain funds while their original accounts lost funds. They tried to use these imbalanced trades to withdraw their frozen funds.
When asked how the frozen accounts were later released, Ellison said she believed the bribe which Alameda paid set the account free. Meanwhile, after her testimony, the court asked Elisson to return to the court on Oct. 12th so SBF’s attorney could verify her claims. Regardless, SBF still claims innocence as he pleads not guilty of all the seven-count charges against him. In addition, the presiding court has scheduled Sam Bankman-Fried’s second trial for March 2024.
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