SBF’s ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison takes the stand as government’s star witness

Government Exhibit 1802


Caroline Ellison, the authorities’s star witness in its prison case in opposition to the disgraced former CEO of bankrupt crypto trade FTX, is anticipated to take the stand on Tuesday, as the prison trial of Sam Bankman-Fried resumes in a downtown Manhattan courthouse.

Ellison, who ran FTX’s sister hedge fund Alameda Research, pleaded guilty in December to 2 counts of wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit cash laundering.

Part of Ellison’s plea take care of the authorities has concerned cooperating with the prosecution’s case in opposition to Bankman-Fried, just like the association struck with Gary Wang — the lesser-known co-founder of FTX and Alameda, whose cross-examination picks up at 9:30 a.m.

Ellison presents a novel view of the defendant, having been one in all the firm’s earliest recruits in 2017. Bankman-Fried had reportedly satisfied the Stanford grad to ditch her Wall Street buying and selling job at Jane Capital to affix Alameda as a dealer, again when the hedge fund was nonetheless in its unique workplace in the San Francisco Bay space. Ellison additionally spent years as Bankman-Fried’s on-again, off-again girlfriend and, at instances, his roommate.

U.S. Attorney Thane Rehn teed up Ellison’s potential testimony in his opening assertion to the jury final week, saying that Bankman-Fried “was utilizing her as a entrance” when “in actuality, he was nonetheless calling the photographs at Alameda.”

Rehn went on to allege in his opening that it was Bankman-Fried who had concocted a “scheme to take cash from FTX and provides it to Alameda” and that Ellison would share the particulars of how she and her former lover stole buyer cash from FTX and deployed that money by Alameda.

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried’s lead protection legal professional Mark Cohen spun a far completely different narrative in his opening remarks in court docket, casting Ellison as a pacesetter who held agency management over the agency and whose management in the end ran the firm into the floor.

In Cohen’s recounting of occasions, Bankman-Fried had urged his former deputy at Alameda to “placed on a hedge,” however “she did not achieve this at the time.”

Noticeably absent to this point in proceedings is the point out of Ellison’s co-CEO Sam Trabucco, who was a classmate of Bankman-Fried at MIT. Trabucco left Alameda in Aug. 2022 and has stayed comparatively beneath the radar.

Lawyers for the U.S. Attorney’s workplace entered into proof photographs that includes Sam Bankman-Fried and his fellow co-workers at their shared $35 million Bahamian penthouse.


For months, the 28-year-old has been the topic of mass hypothesis, as her personal writings and public posts have been scrutinized by the press — and by prison attorneys.

Ellison has tweeted about “regular amphetamine use,” reportedly journaled on Tumblr about her personal exploration into polyamory, and in Michael Lewis’s new e-book about the rise and fall of Bankman-Fried, intensive business-like memos written by Ellison to Bankman-Fried shed new mild on their beleaguered romance.

“Caroline sensed that, even as Sam promoted her to CEO of Alameda Research, he disapproved of her job efficiency — and she or he shared his opinion,” Lewis wrote in his e-book.

Lewis went on to share an excerpt from one in all the memos that Ellison had despatched to her boss and boyfriend: “It looks like I’m doing a a lot worse job managing Alameda than you’ll for those who have been engaged on it full-time,” she wrote. “I’m going to fuck up necessary issues for those who do not step in generally,” continued the excerpt from Ellison’s memo shared in Lewis’s e-book.

The former Alameda exec had adopted Bankman-Fried from California, to Hong Kong, and in the end, to the Bahamas, as Bankman-Fried repeatedly shifted headquarters for his crypto corporations. Lewis’s reporting consists of hypothesis that Bankman-Fried’s departures from every metropolis coincided with relationship troubles with Ellison.

In July, the New York Times published a report with personal diary entries of Ellison leaked to the publication by Bankman-Fried, an act which ultimately landed him back in jail after Judge Lewis Kaplan revoked his bail for alleged witness tampering.

In a Google doc from Feb. 2022 shared with the Times, Ellison wrote, “I’ve been feeling fairly sad and overwhelmed with my job…At the finish of the day I can not wait to go residence and switch off my cellphone and have a drink and get away from all of it.”

She added, “It does not actually really feel like there’s an finish in sight.”

Ellison’s insecurities each concerning her relationship with Bankman-Fried and in her position as the prime chief at Alameda are chronicled extensively in Lewis’s reporting and in the leaked diary entries.

Court filings present that Ellison’s compensation paled by comparability with different executives in Bankman-Fried’s crypto empires. Of the $3.2 billion that went to the trade’s founders and different prime staff, $6 million went to Ellison, versus $587 million to FTX’s head of engineering Nishad Singh, $246 million to Wang and $2.2 billion to Bankman-Fried.

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