In a stunning revelation, Zixiao “Gary” Wang, the former business partner of Sam Bankman-Fried, testified in court on Friday, accusing the disgraced crypto titan of knowingly using FTX clients’ funds without permission. Bankman-Fried, known as “SBF,” is currently facing seven counts of fraud, embezzlement, and criminal conspiracy, with the potential penalty of more than 100 years in prison if convicted. This article delves into the trial proceedings and sheds light on the alleged misconduct committed by Bankman-Fried.
In November 2022, FTX, a prominent cryptocurrency trading platform, collapsed, leaving customers in a state of panic after significant withdrawal requests were met with an inability to fulfill them. It was then revealed that some of FTX’s funds had been invested in risky operations by Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s personal hedge fund. The fallout from this collapse resulted in the loss of approximately $8 billion of customers’ funds.
Zixiao Wang, a co-founder of FTX, painted a damning picture of Bankman-Fried’s actions during his testimony. He claimed that Bankman-Fried willingly broke the law and lied to foster FTX and Alameda’s growth and profitability. According to Wang, Bankman-Fried modified FTX’s software in 2019, allowing unlimited fund withdrawals by Alameda without public knowledge or investor disclosure. Bankman-Fried allegedly misled journalists and investors by stating that Alameda was treated like any other trader on FTX and that customers’ money was not being used for any other purpose.
Wang firmly stated that FTX customers did not provide consent for their funds to be utilized for other purposes. Despite Bankman-Fried’s claims, the funds were allegedly used to purchase real estate in the Bahamas. Moreover, it was revealed that Alameda’s line of credit was gradually elevated to an astronomical amount of $65 billion, leaving FTX unable to repay the borrowed funds when the platform faced bankruptcy.
Wang further accused Bankman-Fried of resorting to manipulation and concealment tactics to protect FTX’s image. He claimed that Bankman-Fried requested customer losses to be recorded on Alameda’s records, with the intention of hiding the transactions from the public eye. These alleged actions illustrate a pattern of deception and a disregard for the interest of FTX customers.
The trial, which began on Tuesday in New York, is expected to last up to six weeks. Wang’s testimony marks a significant development as he is the first major witness to take the stand against Bankman-Fried. Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, is also expected to testify in the coming days, further shedding light on the accusations against Bankman-Fried.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial has begun with explosive revelations made by his former business partner, Zixiao Wang. The allegations of misusing FTX clients’ funds without permission, deception, and manipulation present a grave situation for Bankman-Fried. As the trial progresses, the cryptocurrency community and legal system eagerly await further testimonies and evidence in this high-stakes case. The outcome of this trial could have far-reaching implications for the regulation and accountability surrounding cryptocurrency exchanges and their leaders.