Friends Turned Their Backs on Sam Bankman-Fried After He Loses Billions in FTX Fiasco, He Says
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With only $100,000 left in his bank account, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has only a few friends left.
The disgraced crypto celebrity said many of his friends abandoned him after the rapid and stunning collapse of his 32-billion dollar exchange.
“If you rewind a year ago, everyone wanted to be seen to be my friend. Although very few of them I think actually had a personal interest in it. It meant that I had thousands of fake friends and very few meaningful real ones,” he said during an interview in the Bahamas with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
Bankman-Fried was the billionaire CEO of crypto currency’s third-largest exchange and donated millions of dollars to charities and political groups. The 30-year-old became a sensation and hosted conferences in the Bahamas where FTX had a headquarters, mingling with celebrities and politicians like baseball star Tom Brady, model Giselle Bundchen, former US President Bill Clinton, and former British PM Tony Blair.
When asked if he knew he had ‘fake friends’, Bankman-Fried struggled to answer saying it was complicated. “They had an angle, there is a thing they wanted. Maybe there was a way they could be helpful. In some cases, I enjoyed talking to them. They were nice, smart interesting people.”
In the seemingly repentant interview, he said after his fall, he received a few positive messages from celebrities who once endorsed FTX, some saying, “’Can’t imagine what you’re going through.’”
“Most [of the celebrities] are trying to process it and understand it,” he added.
After filing bankruptcy and stepping down as CEO, his wealth evaporated and now against the advice of lawyers, he is making the rounds in the media, expressing regret for how events unfolded that led to the loss of billions of dollars that customers deposited on the platform.
US and Bahamas authorities are reported to be investigating Bankman-Fried for alleged misappropriation of customer funds when FTX allegedly lent billions of dollars to his trading company Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried has denied allegations of fraud. In an interview with New York Times, he rejected the notion. “I did not try to commit fraud on anyone.”
In a bankruptcy court filing in Delaware, it was revealed Bankman-Fried owes 3.1 billion dollars to 50 of his top creditors.
He has since been replaced by new CEO John Ray III who said Bankman-Fried operated FTX like his “personal fiefdom.”