The star witness in the criminal case against the former head of US-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, testified that he instructed her to commit crimes and to mislead lenders in order to obtain a loan. The witness, who is not named in court documents, submitted statements to the U.S. District Court in Montana on June 17, 2021. According to the documents, Bankman-Fried asked the witness to make false statements and promises to lenders to secure a loan.
The witness stated that Bankman-Fried asked her to lie during a call with a creditor in May 2020, referring to Bankman-Fried as the “CEO and Founder of FTX.” She testified that Bankman-Fried directed her to tell the creditor that he was “the sole owner of FTX and that the entity was located in the United States.” She further stated that Bankman-Fried made her promise that the funds “had not been expended or wasted” and that she was “authorized to sign on behalf of the company.”
In addition to these false representations, the witness also claims that Bankman-Fried asked her to commit a form of money laundering. She stated that Bankman-Fried asked her to create a shell corporation and transfer funds from FTX to that corporation in order to hide the funds from creditors.
The witness further claimed that Bankman-Fried tried to cover up this financial misconduct by moving the company to Belize. She stated that Bankman-Fried wanted to move the company to Belize because it “had less regulations and no extradition treaty with the United States.”
While the witness’ claims have yet to be proven in court, they do suggest a pattern of financial misconduct by Bankman-Fried. If Bankman-Fried is found guilty of any of the alleged crimes, he could face serious criminal penalties.