As we get closer to the trial against disgraced FTX founder Sam "SBF" Bankman-Fried, prosecutors are teasing new evidence from the jailed wunderkind's ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison that sounds like an important part of the case against him.
Quoted in a recent court filing, Ellison reportedly told employees of Alameda Research, FTX's sister company, that the company had fraudulently used customer deposits — akin to banks spending the money you deposit into them — on business expenses.
"Who made the decision on using user deposits?" asked one employee at the all-hands Alameda meeting, which prosecutors said took place in early November 2022, just as the exchange was collapsing.
"Um," Ellison replied, "Sam, I guess."
It's not a good look for SBF. It does, however, once again place the woman we initially considered little more than the quirky on-off girlfriend to the FTX founder in a more central role in the scandal.
As the court filing notes, federal prosecutors in "US v. Bankman-Fried" also plan to introduce a memo Ellison wrote about her business/romantic partner titled "Things Sam Is Freaking Out About."
According to prosecutors, the memo not only tracks FTX's bad press and its effect on Bankman-Fried, but also shows that Ellison was acting under the exchange founder's orders and on his behalf.
This is not, as those following this case may remember, the first time Ellison's personal documents have entered court proceedings.
The decision to include these documents in Bankman-Fried's upcoming trial comes only after the 30-year-old defendant was remanded to an infamous New York detention center for allegedly tampering with witnesses, which prosecutors accused him of after he released Ellison's diary entries to the New York Times.
According to his attorneys, SBF "did nothing wrong" when he took Ellison's personal writings to the press, but the judge presiding over his case disagreed and rescinded his bail — though he's still managing to get his Adderall in jail despite the national shortage.
As far as breakups are concerned, this seems like one from hell. But unlike SBF, at least Ellison isn't having to deal with the tumult from a prison cell.
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