Nishad Singh’s Testimony Sheds Light on Sam Bankman-Fried’s ‘Excessive’ Investments via Alameda

In a recent court testimony in New York, former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh revealed details about the decision-making process within Alameda Research, shedding light on former CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried’s independent approach to investments.

During the criminal trial proceedings on October 16, Singh stated that while Caroline Ellison and Sam Trabucco were leading Alameda, Bankman-Fried held ultimate authority over the company. Singh alleged that Bankman-Fried would unilaterally make decisions about Alameda’s expenditures, even though Singh believed his role was separate at FTX. Singh expressed concerns about the excessive spending and flashy investments, diverging from the company’s intended goals. When Singh raised objections, Bankman-Fried reportedly dismissed his concerns, citing his interactions with people and accusing Singh of misunderstanding the situation.

Singh recalled his distrust in Bankman-Fried, emphasizing his formidable character. He disclosed investments in companies like Anthropic and K5 Global, the latter linked to prominent figures such as Hillary Clinton and Hollywood celebrities. According to Singh, Bankman-Fried instructed him and former chief technology officer Gary Wang to proceed with a $1 billion investment in K5 Global, emphasizing that the funds should come from Bankman-Fried’s personal assets, not FTX’s.

This testimony occurred on the ninth day of Bankman-Fried’s ongoing criminal trial in New York, which commenced on October 3. Earlier in the trial, jurors heard testimonies from Ellison and Wang, both of whom admitted to committing crimes alongside Bankman-Fried. Ellison confessed to providing fraudulent documents and misleading statements related to Alameda’s use of FTX funds, while Wang stated that those in authority allowed Alameda to withdraw unlimited funds.

Additionally, FTX user Tareq Morad testified on October 16, explaining his understanding of how FTX planned to use his deposits and how Bankman-Fried’s public statements influenced his investment decisions. Morad mentioned that despite withdrawal issues reported at FTX in November 2022, he trusted Bankman-Fried’s tweet stating that his “assets are fine.”

Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial is expected to continue through November. Following this trial, he is anticipated to face similar charges in another courtroom in March 2024. Despite the testimonies of Ellison, Wang, and Singh, all of whom admitted to crimes involving Bankman-Fried, the former FTX CEO has pleaded not guilty to all 12 counts of his indictment.

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