The CFTC just alleged that Sam Bankman-Fried (better known as SBF) hid $8 billion of Alameda liabilities in a “Korean friend” account on the FTX crypto exchange!
SBF Allegedly Hid $8B Liabilities In Korean Friend Account!
In the spring of 2022, Alameda Research experienced a large number of margin and loan recalls following a major downturn in the crypto markets. To meet its external debt obligations, the trading firm “greatly increased” its usage of customer funds.
By the middle of 2022, Alameda’s total fiat liability with FTX was around $8 billion. That was when, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) alleged, Sam Bankman-Fried (better known as SBF) directed his executives to move approximately $8 billion of Alameda liabilities into an unknown customer account, which he would later refer to as “our Korean friend’s account” and/or “the weird Korean account”.
The CFTC added that even though this was a sub-account under Alameda, it was labelled as “FTX fiat old” and did not have the usual @alameda-research.com email account identifier. Instead, it was stored in an internal account in the FTX database as “email@example.com”
This allowed the liabilities in that account to be hidden on FTX ledgers. Yet, the “Korean friend” account had the same privileges as Alameda’s other accounts, including exemption from liquidation characteristics.
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FTX Korean Friend Account Had Special Privileges!
The “Korean friend” account had privileges to execute a transaction on FTX, even if it did not have the funds to do so. It was accomplished through a piece of code labeled as “allow negative flag”.
Separately, Bloomberg reported on December 14, that a GitHub account under the name Nishad Singh (FTX’s former engineering director), created or annotated code linked to that “Korean friend” account.
Looking back at what SBF said about Alameda, the signs were there that Alameda Research was likely losing money hand over fist.
Back in September 2022, SBF said that they should have shut down Alameda Research a year ago – before it was hit by the crypto winter.
I only started thinking about this today, and so haven’t vetted it much yet. But I think it might be time for Alameda Research to shut down. Honestly, it was probably time to do that a year ago.
By the time he made that comment, SBF probably knew that it would be a matter of time before his house of cards came falling down…
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