Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried denies “improper use” of customer funds

According to the former CEO, at the time of filing for bankruptcy “FTX US was solvent.”

An interview between the Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried ‘SBF’ and George Stephanopoulos aired on Good Morning America on Dec. 1.

In the interview, SBF was insistent that FTX was not a “Ponzi scheme” but was “a real business.” The former CEO also denied any knowledge of FTX customer deposits being used to pay Alameda Research’s creditors, as reportedly claimed by Alameda’s CEO Caroline Ellison. According to him, he had no knowledge of “any improper use of customer funds”. 

Bankman-Fried also admitted to not spending any time and effort trying to manage risk on FTX. He shared: 

 “There is something maybe even deeply wrong there, which was, I wasn’t even trying. Like, I wasn’t spending any time or effort trying to manage risk on FTX and that was obviously a mistake.”

“If I had been spending an hour a day thinking about risk management on FTX, I don’t think that would have happened. And I don’t feel good about that,” he added. 

Following the collapse of FTX, the former billionaire has allegedly lost his fortune. He claimed to now have only $100,000 in his bank account, and just one ATM card, after his net worth was previously valued at an estimated $20 billion. 

Moving forward, Bankman-Fried shared that his focus is working through regulatory and legal processes and “trying to focus on what I can do going forward to be helpful.”

Hours after the interview aired, the former CEO took to his Twitter account to expand on statements made in another interview, which took place the night before on The New York Times’ DealBook Summit live on Nov. 30

In the tweet, the CEO insisted that at the time of filing a chapter 11 bankruptcy he was “fairly sure FTX US was solvent, and that all US customers could be made whole”. In his words; “To my knowledge, it still is today”, adding, “I’m not sure why US withdrawals were turned off.”

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried confronted over the fall of FTX in live interview

On Nov. 16, Sam Bankman-Fried expressed deep regret over filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, calling it his “biggest single fuckup.” 

According to screenshots of the Twitter conversation between Vox reporter Kelsey Piper and Sam Bankman-Fried, the former FTX CEO said that although he has made multiple mistakes, the biggest one was listening to what people told him to do and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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