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HomeNewsElon Musk rips into disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

Elon Musk rips into disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

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Elon Musk says he knew disgraced FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was full of it.

Back in March, Mr Bankman-Fried offered via intermediaries to help Musk buy Twitter, according to texts leaked Friday by Twitter user Internal Tech Emails, the NY Post reports.

The texts show that Musk’s banker Michael Grimes told Musk that Mr Bankman-Fried was offering “at least $3 billion” to help Musk fund the Twitter deal and wanted to talk about the potential for “social media blockchain integration.”

Musk was sceptical. He asked Grimes, “Does Sam actually have $3B liquid?”

After the texts were leaked, Musk replied on Twitter, “Accurate. He set off my bs detector, which is why I did not think he had $3B.”

At least $US1 billion of customer funds ($1.5 billion) — and possibly as much as $US2 billion ($3 billion) — have gone missing in the shocking implosion of the crypto currency exchange FTX, according to reports.

Musk’s take on Mr Bankman-Fried, known in the industry as “SBF,” comes as FTX imploded late last week with reports that he secretly funnelled $US10 billion ($15 billion) of customer funds into his trading company, Alameda Research.

The bulk of Mr Bankman-Fried’s fortune was tied up in the cryptocurrency exchange he founded FTX, as well as his quantitative crypto trading firm Alameda Research.

The former billionaire’s holdings of FTX were worth about $US6.2 billion ($9.6 billion) at its peak and $US7.4 billion ($11.5 billion) was tied up in Alameda.

For weeks, there were rumours that FTX and Alameda were in trouble. Coindesk revealed that Alameda’s $US14.6 billion ($22.7 billion) balance sheet was full of the FTT token, a coin invented by FTX.

And throughout that, Mr Bankman-Fried had been involved in a public standoff with Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the chief executive of Binance, a major crypto exchange. They had been trading barbs for months.

On November 7, Mr Zhao announced his firm was liquidating its FTT holdings, giving weight to rumours about the financial wellbeing of Alameda and FTX. He cited “recent revelations that have come to light” and said it was not a “move against a competitor”.

FTX then revealed it was suffering “liquidity” problems as customers tried to cash out over concerns the exchange was on its last legs.

Mr Bankman-Fried told investors that the company needs $US4 billion ($6.2 billion) to remain solvent and is facing a shortfall of $US8 billion ($12.4 billion).

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into whether the platform mishandled customer funds as well as the firm’s relationship to other companies.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is also probing FTX.

This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced with permission

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