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FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried slept on beanbag at $35M Bahamas apartment, lived with 9 employees: Witness

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(NEW YORK) — Sam Bankman-Fried took naps on a bean bag while living with 9 other employees at a $35 million apartment in the Bahamas, a witness testified at the FTX founder’s criminal trial on seven counts stemming from the collapse of the crypto-exchange.

The witness, Adam Yedidia, who worked as a developer at FTX, testified that Alameda, Bankman-Fried’s privately controlled hedge fund, paid for the apartment.

Prosecutors have been exploring the unusual living arrangements and the luxurious lifestyle Bankman-Fried had been living in the Bahamas that was allegedly paid for, illegally, with customer and investor money. Prosecutors have alleged Bankman-Fried used other customer funds for real estate, speculative investments and political donations.

Yedidia said he had been tasked with fixing a bug in FTX’s system in June 2022 when he discovered Alameda allegedly owed FTX customers $8 billion. He called it concerning.

“Because if they spend the money that belongs to the FTX customers, then it’s not there to give the FTX customers should they withdraw,” Yedidia said.

Five months later, when Yedidia said he heard Alameda had used customer money to repay loans, he said he resigned.

“Because if Alameda was repaying its loans with FTX customer money, that implied that it didn’t have money of its own to repay the loans with, which means the money was simply gone,” he said.

Yedida further testified that Bankman-Fried told him that he and Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison had begun a romantic relationship in early 2019. Ellison pleaded guilty in December to wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.

Friday’s hearing also featured testimony from FTX co-founder Gary Wang, who has already admitted he committed crimes.

“Did you commit financial crimes while working at FTX?” assistant US Attorney Nicholas Roos asked Wang.

“Yes,” Wang answered, adding he committed wire fraud, securities fraud and commodities fraud.

“Did you commit these crimes by yourself or with other people?” Roos asked.

“With other people,” Wang said, identifying, among others, Sam Bankman-Fried.

The trial of Bankman-Fried began Tuesday and could last up to six weeks. He faces seven counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering, and has pleaded not guilty to all counts. If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 110 years in prison.

 

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