Sam Bankman-Fried, the collapsed crypto exchange FTX’s founder, harbored ambitions to one day become president of the United States. SBF’s intentions to run for president were shared by his former girlfriend, Caroline Ellison.
Testifying for the prosecution in his fraud trial last week, Caroline Ellison claimed SBF wanted to be US president after their romantic relationship ended. The two remained business partners at FTX and Alameda Research until last November.
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Ellison admitted to defrauding FTX customers by improperly diverting billions in user funds to Alameda under Bankman-Fried’s direction. She said SBF enabled Alameda to take around $14 billion from FTX over several years.
The transfers were used to repay loans, investments, and stablecoin conversions, Ellison testified. She said FTX concealed Alameda’s credit line from investors and auditors.
Caroline Ellison received a $20 million bonus on top of her salary
In 2021, Ellison received a $20 million bonus on top of her $200,000 salary. Former FTX CTO Gary Wang also took the stand, admitting to crimes with Ellison and ex-director Nishad Singh.
While the full extent of his political aspirations is unclear, SBF’s reported presidential goals hint at grander visions beyond just dominating crypto. The unraveling of his companies has shattered those ambitions for now, as he faces up to 115 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Ellison’s cooperation comes as part of a plea deal with prosecutors in the sweeping fraud case against Bankman-Fried. Her testimony aims to solidify allegations that SBF orchestrated FTX’s multibillion-dollar collapse.