Sam Bankman-Fried didn't mention Alameda ex-CEO Caroline Ellison in his first video interview since FTX collapse

Sam Bankman-Fried at DealBook Summit
Sam Bankman-Fried at DealBook Summit  
  • Sam Bankman-Fried didn't mention Caroline Ellison by name during an interview with The New York Times.

  • Ellison was formerly CEO of Bankman-Fried's hedge fund, Alameda Research.

  • The former FTX CEO denied allegations that he knowingly committed fraud with Alameda Research.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the 30-year-old founder of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX, talked about a host of subjects during his more than hour-long interview at The New York Times DealBook summit on Wednesday.

But one name he never mentioned was Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of his hedge fund, Alameda Research, which is closely tied to the implosion of his other company, FTX.

The relationship between the two companies - and reports that Bankman-Fried and Ellison previously lived together in a Bahamas penthouse with other FTX and Alameda employees - came up during the interview.

The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Bankman-Fried a host of questions around FTX's links with Alameda and whether or not he committed fraud by the "commingling of funds." Bankman-Fried denied these allegations and did not mention Ellison in his answers.

"I didn't knowingly commingle funds," Bankman-Fried said during the interview. "I was frankly surprised by how big Alameda's position was, which points to another failure of oversight on my part and failure to appoint someone to be chiefly in charge of that. "

Sorkin asked Bankman-Fried if the scandal was an "$8 billion accounting mistake" after bringing up that Ellison reportedly told Alameda employees that the hedge fund used FTX client funds to cover its loans.

Toward the end of the interview, Sorkin asked him about any drug use, and pointed to an apparent past tweet from Ellison that mentioned "regular amphetamine use."

Bankman-Fried responded both times that he was unable to talk for anyone else, but mentioned that he had been prescribed medication in the past to help with focusing.

The interview was Bankman-Fried's first video interview since the collapse of FTX and has since been followed up by a slew of other media appearances in which he's repeated apologies for what he said were oversights and mismanagement while denying he committed fraud.

During his first network interview with ABC News on Thursday, Bankman-Fried denied that he knew of any "improper use of customer funds," but said that he is responsible for the downfall of both companies.

"I really, deeply wish that I had taken a lot more responsibility for understanding what the details were of what was going on," he said during the ABC interview. "I should have been on top of this, and I feel really, really bad and regretful that I wasn't."

He also told ABC News that he and Ellison had been in a romantic relationship in the past, but that it had only lasted six months. Ellison hasn't commented publicly since leaving Alameda Research. Insider reached out to Alameda Research in an attempt to get in touch with Ellison for comment ahead of publication, but did not immediately hear back.

During an interview with New York Magazine, Bankman-Fried said he didn't know what was happening at Alameda over the last year.

Bankman-Fried did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment ahead of publication.


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