Today, his ex-girlfriend and former CEO of sister hedge fund Alameda Caroline Ellison has taken the stand, shedding light on even more eyebrow-raising details regarding the former billionaire's blockbuster fall from grace — and, interestingly, delusions of grandeur.
Case in point, the Wall Street Journal reports that according to Ellison's testimony, Bankman-Fried once told her there was a five percent chance that he would eventually become the president of the United States, a wild assertion that tracks with what we already know about Bankman-Fried's well-documented warped view of the world and his place in it.
On and Off Again
Ellison also confirmed her on-and-off-again romantic relationship with the former crypto baron.
Her appearance in a Manhattan courtroom today is the first time they've seen each other face-to-face since FTX and Alameda collapsed in November, per the New York Times.
"We started sleeping together on and off in the summer of 2020," Ellison said on the stand, as quoted by New York-based journalist Matthew Russell Lee. "We dated and broke up."
When asked what Bankman-Fried told her about his ambitions, Ellison said "that he would be president."
"Of what?" an incredulous assistant United States attorney Nicolas Roos asked her.
"The United States," she replied.
Bankman-Fried donated millions of dollars to political causes before FTX's downfall, including a $5 million contribution to US president Joe Biden's 2020 presidential election campaign, according to a new book about Bankman-Fried and the collapse of FTX by author Michael Lewis.
The disgraced CEO also met with several high-ranking US politicians and even explored "the legality of paying Donald Trump himself not to run for president," according to the book.
Bankman-Fried also was — and could possibly still be — an "effective altruist," a philanthropic movement ostensibly dedicated to solving the world's problems by identifying and funding the most effective solutions.
In reality, Bankman-Fried has expressed that kind of Silicon Valley-branded utilitarianism in the form of large donations to charities, harebrained plans for human genetic experimentation, and plenty of philanthropic grandstanding.
During her testimony today, Ellison also accused Bankman-Fried of ordering her to take deposits from FTX customers to finance Alameda investments, totaling a stunning $14 billion.
"He directed me to commit these crimes," she said during today's proceedings.
In short, given the damning charges and mounting pile of evidence, it's unlikely Bankman-Fried will be sworn in as the president of the United States any time soon.
More on the tale: Caroline Ellison Says Sam Bankman-Fried "Directed" Her to Commit Crimes
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