Former FTX Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried apologized Wednesday for a “lot of mistakes” in the abrupt collapse of the cryptocurrency firm and said he did not knowingly behave fraudulently.
“I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone,” Bankman-Fried told the Dealbook conference on CNBC.
“I’m deeply sorry about what happened,” Bankman-Fried said.
Bankman-Fried, appearing by video from the Bahamas, said he was “shocked” by many of the details that have surfaced since the cryptocurrency platform’s collapse.
On November 11, Bankman-Fried resigned as FTX filed for bankruptcy protection while facing a large financing shortfall.
Much attention has focused on the relationship between FTX and Alameda Research, a trading house also owned by Bankman-Fried.
Bankman-Fried acknowledged an “embarrassing” lack of attention to conflict of interest between the two firms, but insisted that he was not abreast of the details on Alameda.
He said that he was surprised at the scale of Alameda’s positions on FTX that were troubled and which ultimately stressed the firm.
“I didn’t think it was existential for FTX,” Bankman-Fried said of Alameda’s financial stress, adding that he thought the problem would “end up having some small impact on FTX, but not a significant one, not one that hurt customers at all.”
Financial media have reported that FTX executives knew the platform was using billions in customer funds to prop up Alameda.
Bankman-Fried said he didn’t knowingly “comingle” funds between the two firms.
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