Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX used customer funds to bribe corrupt Chinese officials, former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend and accomplice has testified in court.
Caroline Ellison stated in court that Bankman-Fried had directed her to commit fraud-related crimes.
She also said Bankman-Fried, the Democratic Party’s second-largest donor in 2022, used loans to make political donations.
Ellison told the court that $100 million in customer deposits were used to bribe Chinese officials.
Bankman-Fried was once again on the receiving end of the blame for the catastrophe that was the collapse of FTX.
The disgraced Democrat donor had also just sat through a few days of colleagues Adam Yedidia and Gary Wang testifying against him.
Ellison has been complying with federal authorities.
She is expected to receive a plea deal in exchange for her cooperation in taking down her ex-boyfriend.
At the beginning of her testimony, Ellison confirmed that she had committed fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and money laundering.
She pled guilty to the charges in December 2022, according to the Epoch Times.
“He directed me to commit these crimes,” Ellison reportedly said in court.
Ellison served as the CEO of Alameda Research, FTX’s sister hedge fund.
It was also noted that she was paid more than $20 million in salary and bonuses in 2021 as head of the company.
In previous court revelations, Alameda was revealed to have a $65 billion line of credit with FTX.
The arrangement eventually resulted in an $8 billion debt, made up of customer deposits.
Ellison made other shocking allegations, “CBS Mornings” reported.
She claimed that Alameda used $100 million of FTX customer deposits to bribe Chinese officials.
This was allegedly done in order to gain access to up to $1 billion in cryptocurrency that was frozen in China.
The company also allegedly tried to regain the money through accounts set up in the names of Thai prostitutes.
Ellison claimed that Bankman-Fried also considered selling shares in the company to investors such as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
She reportedly told jurors that Alameda lent money to Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives.
Ellison testified that those funds would then be used to make political donations.
In addition, Yedidia, who worked out of FTX’s Hong Kong office and then the Bahamas before the company collapsed, had previously testified that FTX was using customer deposits to pay off loans.
He called the company’s actions “flagrantly wrong.”
FTX reportedly took $10 billion from customer deposits.
Essentially, FTX was taking customer deposits and letting Alameda Research take out loans from that money
Bankman-Fried then loaned money back to himself to pay off his own loans and debts.
Political donations predominantly included $5.2 million to Democrat President Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020.
The donation immediately shot Bankman-Fried to near the top of the donor list.
According to Time, more than $70 million was donated to election campaigns.
Another $40 million was also donated to politicians and committees ahead of the 2022 midterms.