The FTX Executives Who Helped Run Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire

(Bloomberg) — Sam Bankman-Fried may be the face of FTX’s failure, but he wasn’t the only one keeping his sprawling empire going.

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The more than 130 entities that made up the FTX Group ranged from crypto exchanges to a venture arm to a videogame company, according to bankruptcy filings. But control over these businesses was restricted to a powerful few who led the company’s deal-making and made crucial decisions about how FTX spent its once-vast supply of cash.

It’s not clear all of them will be of interest to prosecutors. The fraud case against Bankman-Fried is mainly focused on the transfer of billions of dollars from FTX customer accounts to affiliated hedge fund Alameda Research, which accumulated trading losses that led to the exchange’s collapse. Therefore, any individuals involved with Alameda are likely to be under scrutiny. Former Alameda chief executive office Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang have both pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with the fund. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty, claiming he didn’t know what was going on at Alameda.

Others are likely angling for their own cooperation deals. FTX’s former engineering chief Nishad Singh, met with prosecutors in early January, Bloomberg has reported. Former federal prosecutor Rebecca Mermelstein said the government often likes to have more cooperators to cover up “warts” in some witnesses’ credibility, but there’s a limit to how many they need.

“Three cooperators is already quite a lot,” she said. “Someone who wants to cooperate here needs to ask themselves what they have that Ellison and Wang can’t give to the government.”

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Other executives who may not have been part of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle likely remain on tenterhooks as legal proceedings move forward against their ex-colleagues at FTX and Alameda, according to Kevin O’Brien, a former federal prosecutor.

“All these people, any high level executives there, at either shop, you would expect to lawyer up and get good counsel,” he said.

Based on months of…


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