Sam Bankman-Fried Says He’s Had A Bad Month, Crowd Laughs

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin at the Dealbook Summit on Wednesday that he “didn’t do a good job” of fulfilling his responsibilities to regulators, customers and investors.

“There’s going to be a time and a place for me to sort of think about myself and my own future, but I don’t think this is it,” the former crypto billionaire said. “I mean, look I’ve had a bad month.” (RELATED: Beto O’Rourke Returned $1 Million Donation From Former Crypto Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried)

 

Despite the crowd erupting in laughter as soon as he said he had a bad month, Bankman-Fried pressed on. “This has not been a good time for me, but that’s not what matters here,” he said. “What matters here is the millions of customers. What matters here is all the stakeholders in FTX.”

Sorkin then read an email from a man who said he lost his life savings. The subject line was “Sam Bankman-Fried stole $2 million from me.” “Can you please ask SBF why he decided to steal my life savings and the $10 billion more from customers to give to his hedge fund Alameda,” Sorkin read. “Can you ask him why his hedge fund was leveraging along all of these shitcoins. Please ask him if he thinks what happened was fraud.” Sorkin said he has received multiple letters like that one and asked Bankman-Fried what he should tell he man.

“Yeah— um, I mean— I’m deeply sorry about what happened,” Bankman-Fried replied.

Earlier this year, FTX was valued at $32 billion before the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware on Nov. 11 after a report by Coindesk about alleged misuse of customer funds generated mass withdrawals. Most of Bankman-Fried’s wealth was tied to FTX, and now he has just $100,000 left in his bank account, he told Axios.

“I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone,” Bankman-Fried added. “I saw it as a thriving business, and I was shocked by what happened this month.”

Public records reveal that, before the collapse, Bankman-Fried donated over $36 million to Democratic candidates and Democrat-affiliated groups during the 2022 midterms. In an interview Tuesday, he claimed that he’d given a comparable amount to GOP candidates, but that he used a “dark money” loophole to keep the giving secret.

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