Thursday 1 December 2022

CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin Confronts Disgraced Crypto CEO With Scathing Letter From Investor

 CNBC anchor and financial journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin opened a Wednesday interview with Sam Bankman-Fried by reading him a letter from an alleged investor who asked the former crypto billionaire why he stole the investor’s life savings.

“The subject line [of the letter] is ‘Sam Bankman-Fried stole $2 million dollars from me,'” Sorkin said, according to the New York Times. “It says ‘Andrew, could you please ask SBF why he decided to steal my life savings, and $10 billion more from customers to give to his hedge fund Alameda?… please ask him if he thinks what happened was fraud.’ These are the kind of letters that I’ve been getting repeatedly over the past several days. What do you tell this man?”

“Yeah, um, I mean, I’m deeply sorry about what happened,” Bankman-Fried said, shaking his head.

A liquidity crunch at FTX, followed by allegations that Bankman-Fried was responsible for loaning $10 billion of FTX clients’ funds to Alameda, led to the Bankman-Fried’s fortune collapsing in a matter of days and FTX going bankrupt. Customers are still uncertain if they will be able to get their money back, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The fallout has thrust Bankman-Fried in the crosshairs of U.S. federal prosecutors, reignited investigations at the Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and prompted a class action lawsuit against FTX and its celebrity ambassadors, including Tom Brady. FTX’s new CEO, John Jay Ray III, who is most well known for managing the bankruptcy of energy giant Enron, described management at the exchange as a “complete failure of corporate controls” the likes of which he had never seen.

“I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone,” Bankman-Fried said, later in the interview, according to the NYT. He also denied that he “knowingly comingle[d] funds” between Alameda and FTX.

Bankman-Fried repeatedly said that FTX US, which services U.S.-based customers and is regulated by U.S. trading rules, was completely solvent and capable of returning all money to U.S. consumers, according to the NYT. FTX US is also listed alongside roughly 130 other affiliated businesses in FTX’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing from Nov. 11.

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