Caroline Ellison provided 7 ‘alternative’ balance sheets hiding Alameda’s exposure to FTX

    2023.10.12 | exchangesranking | 1091onlookers

    Testifying on the sixth day of Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial in New York, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison admitted to providing fudged numbers for review by Genesis.

    According to reports from the courtroom on Oct. 11, Ellison claimed Bankman-Fried directed her to create “alternative” balance sheets on Alameda’s use of crypto exchange FTX’s funds. She reportedly testified that she had provided seven spreadsheets, one of which SBF presented to Genesis. The document did not reveal that Alameda had borrowed $10 billion from FTX.

    “Sam said, ‘Don’t send the balance sheet to Genesis,’” said Ellison, according to reports. “We were borrowing $10 billion from FTX, and we had $5 billion in loans to our own executives and affiliated entities. We thought Genesis might share the info.”

    Ellison returned to the witness stand at SBF’s trial after first appearing in the courtroom on Oct. 10. In contrast to her earlier testimony, prosecutors questioned the former Alameda CEO about her feelings surrounding her deception about the firm’s financials:

    “I was worrying about customer withdrawals from FTX, this getting out, people to be hurt [...] I didn’t feel good. If people found out [about Alameda using FTX funds], they would all try to withdraw from FTX.”

    The former CEO answered in the affirmative when prosecutors asked her if she considered her actions to be “dishonest” and “wrong.” Ellison has largely placed the blame leading to the events surrounding the collapse of FTX on SBF due to his alleged direction surrounding the misuse of customer funds, while defense lawyers seem to be framing the former Alameda CEO as the instigator.

    Related: Sam Bankman-Fried aspired to become US president, says Caroline Ellison

    Ellison is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution in SBF’s trial following testimony from FTX co-founder and former chief technology officer Gary Wang. Former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh has not taken the stand but was named as a potential witness as part of an agreement with the United States Justice Department.

    Prosecutors for Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial said they expected to rest their case on Oct. 26 or Oct. 27, following which the defense lawyers will start calling witnesses. SBF has pleaded not guilty to seven criminal counts related to fraud at FTX, as well as five charges he will face in a March 2024 trial.

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