The ex-girlfriend of crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was reportedly spotted in New York City shortly before the former FTX CEO was arrested in the Bahamas.

Caroline Ellison, head of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s sister hedge fund, Alameda Research, was apparently pictured at Ground Support Coffee in Soho on Dec. 4.

Images purporting to be of Ellison were shared to Twitter by @AutismCapital, who excitedly claimed they had confirmed her identity with a barista at the Manhattan eatery.

Speculation as to whether Ellison could turn on her ex and become an informant in the case has skyrocketed since she hired the services of lawyer Stephanie Avakian — a partner at big law firm Wilmer Hale. The attorney is also a former enforcement chief at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency bringing charges against Bankman-Fried.

Caroline Ellison
Images of Ellison out and about in New York City days before Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas were shared to Twitter.
Twitter / @AutismCapital
Caroline ELlison confirmed on twitter
The account, AutismCapital, a citizen journalist, shared the snapshots of Ellison and confirmed her identity with someone who works at the Manhattan coffee shop.

Prosecutors say Alameda, the crypto investment firm Ellison once oversaw, was utilzied to funnel billions of dollars from FTX.

It’s unclear whether Ellison will face charges in what prosecutors have called “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.”

Ellison and some friends, who were living and working with the couple in the Bahamas, have been named in the charging documents and authorities have put the group on notice to cooperate before they are arrested.

Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams said his “all-hands-on-deck investigation” into the collapse of Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange and Alameda Research hedge fund is moving quickly, and more charges will soon be filed.

Sam Bankman-Fried
Bankman-Fried was arrested on eight counts and will remain behind bars in the Bahamas until his next court appearance, scheduled for Feb. 8.
AFP via Getty Images

“We are not done,” Williams said, noting that the charges against Bankman-Fried were just the “first step.”

The alleged scam involved defrauding FTX customers and investors as well as Alameda’s lenders and violated campaign finance laws by sending tens of millions of dollars in political donations to both Republicans and Democrats, according to Williams.

“These contributions were disguised to look like they were coming from wealthy co-conspirators when, in fact, the contributions were funded by Alameda Research with stolen customer money,” he said.

Prosecutors say that Alameda, the crypto investment firm Ellison once oversaw, was utilized to funnel billions of dollars into FTX.
Prosecutors say that Alameda, the crypto investment firm Ellison once oversaw, was utilized to funnel billions of dollars from FTX.

Bankman-Fried, 30, was arrested Monday in the Bahamas at the request of US authorities and will remain in custody there until his next court appearance on Feb. 8.

On Tuesday, an indictment charging him with eight counts of fraud, money laundering and other financial crimes was unsealed by a federal prosecutor. He could face up to 115 years in prison if convicted on all eight counts.


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