Alameda Research, the sister company of FTX, bribed a Chinese government official and even used the identities of Thai prostitutes to unlock $1 billion of frozen funds on other digital currency exchanges, according to the testimony of Caroline Ellison, the ex-girlfriend of disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of the hedge fund Alameda Research, testified on Wednesday during the court trial of disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried that, at Bankman-Fried’s direction, Alameda sent a $150 million payment to an unknown Chinese government official to unlock $1 billion of its assets on the OKX and Huobi exchanges.
Ellison pled guilty last year to fraud and conspiracy charges and testified that she had committed said crimes on behalf of Bankman-Fried.
Ellison first described that they tried a lawyer but were unsuccessful. Then, they tried to use the identification of Thai prostitutes to create accounts on those exchanges to get the funds released. At that point, Bankman-Fried, who was initially against using cash payments, agreed to bribe the unknown Chinese official.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, the judge presiding over the case, told the jury that Bankman-Fried is not on trial for bribing a Chinese official, but said that the testimony spoke to the relationship between Ellison and Bankman-Fried.
To mask the bribe on official documents, Ellison listed the payment on a line item on “State of Alameda” documents as under “notable/idiosyncratic pnl stuff,” and “150m from the thing?”
Bankman-Fried wanted to use this vague language so that it could not “eventually be used against us in court.”
Ellison also testified Bankman-Fried had a different view of morals. She said Bankman-Fried “said he was a utilitarian,” Ellison explained. “He didn’t think rules like ‘don’t lie’ and ‘don’t steal’ fit into that framework.”
Bankman-Fried stands accused of seven counts of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering on his alleged use of FTX customer funds to cover the losses of his hedge fund, Alameda Research. He also allegedly used those funds to purchase real estate and cover other personal expenses. Bankman-Fried pled not guilty to all counts and faces up to 110 years in prison.
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.
Originally Posted on: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2023/10/12/star-witness-sam-bankman-frieds-plan-to-unlock-frozen-chinese-ftx-funds-thai-prostitutes-bribery/
By: Sean Moran