Sam Bankman-Fried and Top Execs Drained $3.2B from FTX
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Sam Bankman-Fried and Top Execs Drained $3.2B from FTX

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1 year ago

Bankman-Fried took $2.2 billion in payments and loans, mostly from Alameda Research, which was pulling funds from exchange customers; Caroline Ellison only got $6 million.

Sam Bankman-Fried and Top Execs Drained $3.2B from FTX


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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pulled $2.2 billion in payments and loans out of his companies, according to the firms' new bankruptcy managers.

In an announcement Thursday, FTX Debtors said that five other top executives of the collapsed crypto exchange took another $1 billion.

In part, that was possible because of what John Ray III, the current CEO of the FTX Debtors group of bankrupt companies, called "a complete failure of corporate controls" and "a complete absence of trustworthy financial information" even before the extent of Bankman-Fried's alleged pillaging of the exchange was known.

Federal prosecutors have accused Bankman-Fried of illegally taking $10 billion worth of FTX customers' funds after his private trading firm, Alameda Research, made bad bets.

Surreptitiously given unlimited borrowing access that amounted to a blank check on FTX's resources, Alameda appears to have lost at least $8 billion and possibly more than $9 billion.

The announcement warned that the new management is still struggling to trace all of the company's assets and liabilities, so those numbers could change.

Ellison at the Bottom

In an industry long accused of being male dominated, the only woman on the list, Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, took home just $6 million, far less than anyone else.

That's despite her key role at Alameda — which, to be fair, lost an enormous amount of money — and that she was reportedly in a relationship with Bankman-Fried at one point.

By way of comparison, the other two executives federal prosecutors thought were important enough to join Ellison in getting plea deals for testifying against Bankman-Fried took home a combined $833 million.

That was $587 million to director of engineering Nishad Singh and $246 million to CTO Gary Wang. Singh allegedly wrote the code that allowed Alameda to divert $10 billion in FTX customer funds to backstop its own bad bets without tipping off compliance and legal personnel.

FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame, who reported FTX's misappropriation of funds to Bahamian authorities shortly before the exchange collapsed, was the fourth-biggest recipient of Bankman-Fried's largess, raking in $87 million.

FTX said that $3.2 billion figure does not include $240 million spent on luxury properties in The Bahamas, and political and charitable donations.

Otherwise Salame's total would likely be far higher as he was allegedly Bankman-Fried's straw man in a scheme to get around campaign finance limits. Salame was an up-and-coming Republican mega donor, who is alleged to have secretly used company funds to match donations made by Bankman-Fried and Singh to Democrats. Charges against his former boss include making unlawful political donations.

Alameda co-CEO John Samuel Trabucco received about $25 million.

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