At the end of the 15,000-word Twitter thread he never posted, Sam Bankman-FriedThe founder of failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX offered a candid assessment of his plight.
“I’m broke and wearing an ankle monitor and one of the most hated people in the world,” he wrote. “There probably won’t be anything I could do to make my lifetime impact a net positive.”
He added, “And the truth is that I did what I felt was right.”
after Mr. Bankman-Fried was arrestedAccused of fraud over the collapse of FTX and placed under house arrest in December, he wrote hundreds of pages ranging from childhood memories to mathematical calculations, sometimes self-justifying. In a draft of his unsent posts, which he formatted as a series of tweets spanning about 70 typed pages, he criticized some of his close associates, posted photos of his high school years and shared popcorn and gardens. I accompanied my arguments with stock images of a maze. Every few pages, a key moment in the narrative is accompanied by a link to a music video by Alicia Keys, Katy Perry or Rihanna.
Once a prolific poster on Twitter, now known as Links included. One document, titled “Inception V2”, is a lengthy attack on the company’s bankruptcy lawyers, showing a screenshot from the 2010 Christopher Nolan film. A separate link pulls up a spreadsheet listing Mr Bankman-Fried’s Amazon orders from 2021.
Nearly 250 pages of documents, which have not been previously reported, provide a glimpse into Mr. Bankman-Fried’s mindset during the eight months he spent in home detention before a judge. canceled his bail in August. The writing also provides new details about his potential legal defense that his lawyers have disclosed in court, shedding light on how he might justify his actions when the trial begins on October 3.
Prosecutors have accused Mr. Bankman-Fried of planning to funnel FTX client funds into the hedge fund he founded, Alameda Research, so his companies could make venture capital investments, buy real estate and donate to politicians. He has pleaded innocent and if found guilty, he will face decades in prison.
During his detention, Mr. Bankman-Freed sent documents tiffany fongA social-media influencer who has Youtube channel About the crypto industry. Ms. Fong shared them with The New York Times. “He liked that I didn’t work for anyone,” she said. “He thinks I can just jump to my own conclusions.”
A representative for Mr Bankman-Fried declined to comment.
In several documents, Mr. Bankman-Fried was blamed Caroline AlisonTo help with the explosion of FTX, his ex-girlfriend and one time lieutenant. He described her as unfit for the job he was given as head of Alameda, and claimed that she cried during a meeting with him and refused to establish trading strategies that would have protected her businesses from a market crash. Could have.
“She continued to avoid talking about risk management – avoiding my suggestions – until it was too late,” he wrote in the document titled “Alameda’s Failure to Hedge.” “Whenever I approached him with suggestions, it made him feel worse. “I’m sure being deported didn’t help.”
In the Twitter draft, Mr Bankman-Fried also criticized Sam Trabucco, who was Alameda’s co-chief executive. Mr Trabucco and Ms Ellison did not get along, the document said. And while Mr. Trabucco had good risk management instincts, Mr. Bankman-Fried wrote, he was “quietly in the process of leaving” by the end of 2021.
Mr. Trabucco preferred to spend his time “sailing around the world on a boat and going on dates with lots of people,” Mr. Bankman-Fried wrote. Then he joined a music video, “cheers drink to that)” By Rihanna.
Ms Ellison and two other top advisers to Mr Bankman-Fried have pleaded guilty to fraud charges and agreed to testify against him. fourth pleaded guilty this month Without promising cooperation. Mr. Trabucco has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Lawyers for Mr. Trabucco and Ms. Ellison declined to comment.
Once hailed as a trustworthy force in the loosely regulated world of crypto, FTX crashed in November, costing customers billions of dollars in losses and devastating the industry. After that to arrestMr. Bankman-Fried was granted bail and allowed to live with his parents, longtime law professors at Stanford, at their home in Palo Alto, California. German shepherd named Sandor To act as his guard dog.
For months, Mr. Bankman-Fried entertained guests such as the author Michael Lewis, who is finishing a book about him, as well as a number of journalists.
Few people had as much access as influencer Ms. Fong established an online contact With Mr. Bankman-Fried before the FTX failure. Ms Fong visited him at his parents’ home more than 10 times and recorded conversations with him, which she may eventually release, he said.
While under house arrest, Ms. Fong said, Mr. Bankman-Fried spent most of his time in the study, where he played computer games, set up a chess board and sometimes slept on the couch. Most days, he said, he worked on his legal defense, recording thoughts about the case on hundreds of pages of Google Docs. Mr. Bankman-Fried also told them that his family was installing a pickleball court in the yard for them.
Mr Bankman-Fried gave the documents to Ms Fong in late January. It was not clear what he expected them to do with them. Ms Fong, who lost money in crypto company collapse Celsius Network, said that she was sympathetic to the victims of FTX and was skeptical of many of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s claims. He sent a document to a former engineer from Alameda, -Aditya BhardwajWho responded to Mr. Bankman-Fried with a point-by-point rebuttal, noting that Alameda’s hedging would have been “irrelevant” if FTX had not misappropriated customer funds.
In a draft Twitter thread, Mr. Bankman-Fried traced the growth of his businesses from his childhood in Palo Alto to the penthouse he bought in the Bahamas near FTX’s headquarters. He recalled meeting Mr. Trabucco at a math camp, where his future colleague had quietly snuck out after curfew to bake cheesecake brownies, and he described his early admiration for Ms. Ellison, calling her “wicked smart.” . He also posted some personal photos, one of which shows him holding a shirt that Mr. Trabucco bought for him in high school.
In another section, Mr. Bankman-Fried posted a link to a document he wrote in 2019, “Tonight We Are Young,” an account of a conference in Taiwan where he spoke with Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ, the founder of crypto. Had a conversation with. Exchange Binance. (He also included a link to the “We’re Young” music video by Fun.)
Mr. Bankman-Fried wrote, “Tonight was all about wine, women and lasers and loud, loud music, but there was a strange atmosphere that was following me.” “I walked by CZ a few more times, and each time he broke eye contact with his eye candy and hugged me: People were thinking a lot of us.”
Some documents of Mr. Bankman-Freed expand the arguments Which his lawyers have presented in the court. In the files titled “Inception v2,” “Inception v3” and “Inception Evidence,” Mr. Bankman-Fried claimed that Sullivan & Cromwell, the law firm that oversaw FTX’s bankruptcy, fabricated the story that they misappropriated user funds. .
He wrote, “He has played it incredibly well.” “If it weren’t so devastating to everything in my life, I’d take my hat off to them.”
Spokespeople for Sullivan and Cromwell declined to comment. Prosecutors have argued Mr Bankman-Fried’s claims about the firm are “casual”.
In several documents, Mr. Bankman-Fried also analyzed his history with Ms. Ellison, writing that their relationship “ended the same way most of my relationships ended.”
“They want more intimacy and commitment and public visibility from me,” she wrote in the thread, “and I feel claustrophobic.”
In another document, he said Ms. Ellison refused to stop Alameda’s aggressive business tactics, despite his insistence. At one point, she recalled, he sent her a message that was “the meanest thing I ever said to her”. (He said he no longer had a record of the message.)
“If Almeida had defended, it would have been satisfactory and would have stopped the entire tragic story,” he wrote.
His concerns about Alameda grew in the spring of 2022, Mr. Bankman-Fried wrote in a Twitter draft as he packed for a trip to Washington. A group of employees, including Ms Ellison, were anxiously discussing the possible losses in the firm’s accounts. Mr. Bankman-Fried was only half-aware, he wrote, but had heard enough to realize that the conversation focused on an account labeled fiat@ — the medium through which regulators have said FTX executives divert client funds to other projects. Used to redirect.
He wrote, “I’d heard that name before, but I never really knew what it was.”
When she pleaded guilty, Ms. Ellison said that she and Mr. Bankman-Fried conspired to shore up Alameda’s finances with clients’ money. He has denied misuse of funds.
“In general, I do not lie,” he wrote in the document titled “Truth.” “It’s something I believe in quite strongly.”