The former CEO of FTX.US, the American branch of the platform, comes out of silence. He paints the portrait of a tyrannical, volatile and angry Sam Bankman-Fried.
A few months later collapse of FTX, discoveries accumulate. According to the lawyers responsible for bankruptcy proceedings in the United States, the financial management of the stock exchange was simply disastrous. While producing billions of dollars in cryptocurrencies, the company lacked much structure and professionalism. For example, there was no real accounting department within the firm.
The accounts also show that FTX was spending excessive amounts for restaurants or luxury apartments… while cryptocurrency crash it was gradually eating into her cash reserves. Unsurprisingly, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), CEO and founder of the FTX empire, is held responsible for this historic debacle.
Sam Bankman-Fried asks for the cleanup
Accused of embezzlement, the former billionaire was arrested by Bahamian police in December. Back on American soil, he managed to negotiate his bail pending his trial, scheduled for October. Under house arrest in California, the former crypto white knight continues proclaimed his innocence.
— SBF (@SBF_FTX) January 12, 2023
In an article published last week, Sam Bankman-Fried seems willing to do anything they blame others. The entrepreneur does not hesitate to point the finger at Alameda Research, whose trading company he left the presidency in 2019 to devote himself to FTX. According to him, the firm, led by Caroline Ellison, did not take sufficient precautions to protect against the collapse of crypto-assets. It was the fall of Alameda that would have resulted in the demise of FTX.
“I haven’t run Alameda in a couple of years.” recalls Sam Bankman-Fried, who was still the company’s majority shareholder commercialknown for its aggressive strategies.
Sam Bankman-Fried also assures that FTX has been a victim ofan attack orchestrated by Binance, the industry’s number one exchange platform. Indeed, one of the first things that caused FTX users to panic was a tweet from Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance. However, it was an investigation by CoinDesk media that set things on fire and revealed the bankruptcy of the FTX empire.
Behind the scenes of the FTX empire
In the spotlight since FTX’s bankruptcy, Brett Harrison, former president of FTX.US, finally agreed to reveal the behind-the-scenes. The man ran the US exchange division from May 2021 to September 2022. He resigned less than two months before FTX filed for bankruptcy, leaving reasons for the departure unclear.
1/49 Many have asked questions about my time at FTX US and why I left when I did. As I shared earlier this week, I’m happy to start sharing my experiences and perspective publicly.
—Brett Harrison (@BrettHarrison88) January 14, 2023
In one yarnHarrison draws a bitter record of his collaboration with Sam Bankman-Fried. He recalls working with SBF before the birth of FTX and Alameda within the company commercial Jane Street Capital. At that time, the future billionaire was very popular: it was ” a sensitive and intellectually curious person who cared about animals”, says Harrison. As the SBF later admitted, it was just a cover to take care of her image.
According to him, the founder of FTX has gradually transformed as his platform gained momentum. After agreeing to take over FTX.US, Harrison learned how the company was really run. Apparently, Bankman-Fried could not stand even the slightest contradiction:
“Recognizing in this first conflict a sign of uncertainty and total inconsistency when his decisions were called into question.”.
Drug addiction and threats
Shocked by SBF’s aggressive communication, Harrison does not hesitate to attribute this radical personality change to him drug use. The executive believes that drugs deeply affected Sam Bankman-Fried’s mind:
“I have family and friends living with addiction and mental health issues, and I’ve seen how these issues often surface without warning in adulthood.”.
Arrested by Bahamian justice, Sam Bankman-Fried said he was taking 10mg of Adderall every four hours, along with Emsam patches for depression. By his own admission, he uses these two amphetamine derivativeswith medical prescription, for years.
To avoid annoyances, the founder of FTX has put pressure on his associates. After writing a letter opposing the SBF strategy, Harrison claims he received threats to force him to withdraw:
“Sam was uncomfortable with conflict. He sometimes responded with hostility. […] I was threatened with dismissal on behalf of Sam and the destruction of my professional reputation. I have been asked to officially retract what I wrote and apologize.”.
That is why he preferred to leave the ship. To avoid an abrupt departure, the executive gradually delegated his responsibilities before announcing his resignation. Bret Harrison says he never suspected the embezzlement and fraud company. Seen from his window, he was alone ” management and organization problems ».
In hindsight, the former CEO considers that FTX’s fraudulent activities were knowing orchestrated by Sam Bankman-Fried and his inner circle. Sidelined from the most important decisions months after his arrival, Harrison could never have suspected what was happening. American justice does not suspect that he participated in the fraud.