Alameda Research’s former CEO and Sam Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, has recently testified in the SBF fraud trial, making significant allegations. She claims that SBF orchestrated actions to manipulate the bitcoin price with the intention of keeping it below the $20,000 mark.
Caroline Ellison’s Testimony
During her testimony, Ellison disclosed that she was directed by SBF to sell bitcoin when its price exceeded $20,000, effectively suppressing its value. This deliberate act, according to Ellison, aimed to keep the value of bitcoin under this specific threshold, which has sent shockwaves through the digital asset industry.
Ellison has also exposed financial misconduct within FTX. She admitted the improper use of customer deposits, revealing that Alameda Research had borrowed around $13 billion from FTX clients by September 2022. These borrowed funds were used to clear debts and served as collateral for other investments made by the company, sparking concerns about transparency.
Troubling Episode with Genesis
Ellison also recounted a concerning incident involving retail lending company Genesis. She claimed that Genesis sought $500 million from the exchange when facing insolvency, and despite reservations, SBF directed her to transfer the funds. Moreover, Alameda Research was allegedly instructed to aggressively trade the native FTT token to maintain its peg in the event of price volatility.
Ellison’s testimony directly implicates Sam Bankman-Fried in the alleged misuse of client funds and misleading lenders. It sheds light on the intertwining operations and questionable business practices of Alameda and FTX.
During the ongoing trial, new developments about the defense’s strategy have emerged. Recently, Judge Kaplan, overseeing the proceedings, denied SBF’s plea to introduce specific evidence. Notably, his legal team aimed to present evidence regarding the involvement of legal counsel in Alameda Research’s loans. This evidence was intended for the cross-examination of Gary Wang, former FTX Chief Technology Officer.
This plea followed a similar attempt by the defense to cross-examine Caroline Ellison. The defense claimed that SBF had asked Ellison to activate auto-deletion features on her messaging accounts. By doing so, they sought to emphasize the involvement of legal teams from Alameda or FTX, asserting that this did not indicate criminal intent.
These courtroom developments shed light on the defense’s efforts to challenge the accusations made during the trial, providing insight into the legal strategies at play in this high-profile case.
Ellison and Wang’s testimonies have assumed paramount significance in the ongoing fraud case. As former top executives were closely associated with the accused, their revelations provide crucial insights into the alleged wrongdoing. Both Ellison and Wang have delivered testimonies against SBF, severely challenging his defense.
If convicted on all charges, SBF faces a potential prison sentence of up to 115 years.