She came out the gate swinging.
Et Tu, Caroline?
Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research and ex-girlfriend of FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried, came to court with guns blazing as she began her testimony against her erstwhile boss-slash-lover.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Ellison told the court at the start of her testimony that SBF ordered her to illegally doctor Alameda's finance documents.
"He directed me to commit these crimes," the youthful trader, who pleaded guilty to her own spate of financial crimes, told prosecutors.
As Coindesk added in its own live coverage of the trial, Ellison also said she "sent balance sheets at the direction of Sam that made Alameda's balances look less risky to investors."
To make the appearance all the more theatrical, Ellison apparently took her time to find Bankman-Fried when asked to identify him in the courtroom.
"Everyone in the overflow room I was with was laughing in disbelief," The Block's Zack Abrams tweeted of the slapstick performance. "Is it the haircut? The suit?"
Ellison's testimony in this headline-grabbing trial followed that of Gary Wang, who co-founded FTX with Bankman-Fried and also, like the former Alameda CEO, pleaded guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence and information about their alleged crimes at the end of 2022.
Considered the star witness of the government's case against the former crypto king, Ellison has for months become deeply intertwined with the collapse of FTX and Bankman-Fried's landmark trial — especially since Bankman-Fried decided to leak her diary entries to the New York Times in July, which effectively landed him in jail ahead of his trial.
In a bombastic new book about SBF released just in time for his fraud trial, star biographer Michael Lewis included a number of shocking admissions from Ellison about her time at Alameda and with the FTX co-founder. In one particularly wild anecdote, she apparently recounted that Bankman-Fried once gave her a list of reasons why they shouldn't date, and among those reasons was the jarring claim that he doesn't "feel happiness."
With Ellison making such incendiary remarks at the very start of her testimony, there's no doubt that there will be more bombshells to come — and we'll be keeping our eyes peeled.
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