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Sam Bankman-Fried called some customers ‘dumb’

1:48 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Bankman-Fried acknowledges that his hedge fund could withdraw billions from FTX

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is questioned by prosecutor Danielle Sassoon during his fraud trial over the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan at federal court in New York City, today.

Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

US Assistant Attorney Danielle Sassoon called up multiple instances of Sam Bankman-Fried stating publicly that Alameda Research, FTX’s sister company that was also a customer on the FTX exchange, did not have special privileges and that the two firms operated independently of one another. 

Bankman-Fried repeatedly pushed back, stating that he didn’t recall what he told reporters in various interviews. Asked to answer “yes” or “no” Bankman-Fried equivocated and parsed the prosecutor’s wording. 

“Do you recall saying FTX and Alameda acted separately?” Sassoon asked. 

“I’m not sure about the exact phrasing,” he replied. 

Just before the court broke for lunch, Sassoon pressed Bankman-Fried on the issue of Alameda’s special treatment. 

Sassoon: “Do you deny that Alameda could withdraw billions of dollars from the FTX exchange using a line of credit without being subject to the auto liquidation protocol?” 

SBF: “That might be right.”

Sassoon: “You don’t deny it?”

SBF: “I don’t deny it, no.”

His testimony is set to resume at 1:45 pm ET after a lunch break. 

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