Former FTX chief Sam Bankman-Fried: ‘I didn’t knowingly commingle funds’

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Sam Bankman-Fried, former chief executive of the fallen crypto exchange FTX, said he “didn’t knowingly commingle funds” between FTX and Alameda Research, another crypto firm he founded.

Bankman-Fried made the remarks virtually during the DealBook Summit, a New York Times (NYT) sponsored event, on November 30. This was the first time he had spoken in public after FTX went bankrupt.

FTX was facing investigations by U.S. authorities in mid-November over its handling of customer funds, as media reports suggested that Bankman-Fried had moved their assets to Alameda to cover its investment losses.

Bankman-Fried said he was not running Alameda and “didn’t know exactly what was going on,” adding that he was “surprised by how big Alameda’s position was.” He said Alameda’s situation “points to another failure of oversight” on his part and “failure to appoint someone to be chiefly in charge.”

When asked by the event’s host, NYT journalist Andrew Sorkin, if he was concerned about criminal liability, Bankman-Fried said: “I don’t think that I personally have, you know, [criminal liability]… But I think the real answer is that’s not what I’m focusing on.”