SBF planned to blame everyone but himself, shows leaked Congress testimony

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, was arrested on Dec 12, a day before he was set to testify before Congress remotely. A copy of his testimony, obtained by Forbes, highlights that the disgraced CEO planned to blame the spectral downfall of his $32 billion empire on everyone but himself.

SBF continued the same rhetoric about FTX.US, the sister company of the global cryptocurrency exchange, in his testimony. He claimed that the United States-based entity was still “fully solvent” despite it being a part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed on Nov. 11. Bankman Fried wrote:

“I wish I had not clicked on a button on Docusign at 4:30 am, leaving some of FTX under destructive leadership,”

He went on to blame the inclusion of FTX.US in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy on John J. Ray III, a restructuring lawyer who assumed the role of FTX CEO after the bankruptcy filing. SBF claimed that “American customers were protected, at least until Mr. Ray’s team took over.”

Ray, on the other hand, has been very critical of the former FTX CEO and his management skills. In his testimony for the FTX investigation hearing, Ray has said that in all his years of working as a restructuring lawyer, he has never seen such an “utter failure of corporate controls at every level of an organization, from the lack of financial statements to a complete failure of any internal controls or governance whatsoever.”

In the leaked document, SBF also blamed the inclusion of FTX.US in Chapter 11 on the bankruptcy law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. While Bankman-Fried himself signed the bankruptcy documents, he claimed the law firm pressured him to file Chapter 11 documents and wrote:

“I have 19 pages of screenshots of Sullivan & Cromwell, Mr. Miller, and others I believe were influenced by them, all sent over a two-day period, pressuring me to quickly file for Chapter 11.” 

SBF also attacked the general counsel for FTX.US Ryne Miller, accusing him of being part of the pressure group that wanted to include the U.S.-based entity in the bankruptcy filing.

Related: Hours before his arrest, SBF denied being part of ‘Wirefraud’ chat group

Apart from Ray and his legal aids, SBF was also going to blame Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao for what he claimed was “a month of sustained negative PR on FTX.” He claimed that Binance knowingly signed the letter of intent to buy out FTX, but they “never intended to go through with the deal.”