Secret Alameda recording reveals exact moment staff learned about FTX deposits


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A 75-minute secretly recorded audio clip of Caroline Ellison has revealed the precise second 15 former Alameda Analysis employees discovered the hedge fund was “borrowing” consumer funds from FTX. 

The complete-length recording, obtained by Cointelegraph, offers recent insights into the palpable pressure felt by Ellison and Alameda employees in the lead-up to FTX’s collapse.

“Alameda was type of borrowing a bunch of cash through open-term loans and utilizing that to make numerous illiquid investments. So like a bunch of FTX and FTX US fairness […] Most of Alameda’s loans acquired known as in with a purpose to meet these recollects,” Ellison defined throughout an all-hands assembly in Hong Kong on Nov. 9, 2022.

“We ended up like borrowing a bunch of funds from FTX, which led to FTX having a shortfall in consumer funds.”

“[FTX] mainly at all times allowed Alameda to borrow customers’ funds,” she added, chatting with the 15 or so employees within the assembly.

Choose segments of the audio recording of the assembly had been additionally performed earlier than the court docket on the eighth day of Sam Bankman-Fried’s prison trial on Oct. 12, which was a part of a witness testimony from Christian Drappi, a former software program engineer at Alameda.

Drappi’s look on the witness stand got here instantly following nearly three days of Ellison’s testimony. It’s understood that earlier than the assembly, Drappi and plenty of different Alameda staff had no concept that the hedge fund had allegedly been utilizing FTX buyer deposits to prop up its buying and selling exercise.

Within the recording, Drappi can also be overheard asking Ellison when she grew to become conscious that FTX consumer deposits had been being misused by Alameda, and who else on the firm had identified about it.

Initially Ellison flinched away from answering, however Drappi pressed once more:

“I’m positive this wasn’t, like, a YOLO factor, proper?”

Associated: Changpeng Zhao’s tweet ‘contributed’ to collapse of FTX, claims Caroline Ellison

In line with court docket reporting from the trial, the playback of this audio led to one of many extra humorous moments in court docket, the place Drappi needed to clarify the time period “YOLO” to everybody in attendance, saying that he needed Ellison to verify that using FTX deposits hadn’t simply been a “spontaneous” choice.

In his testimony, Drappi additionally described Ellison’s conduct on the assembly as “sunken” and didn’t show a lot in the best way of confidence to Alameda staff. He stated that he was “shocked” to be taught concerning the extent of the connection between FTX and Alameda, and he give up the following day.

Talking to Cointelegraph, Alameda Analysis engineer Aditya Baradwaj, who was additionally current on the assembly stated the room was “extraordinarily tense,” with Ellison surfacing a wealth of latest data that had “by no means been mentioned internally” — including the later-abandoned acquisition of FTX by its then-largest competitor Binance.

“It grew to become fairly clear that there was no future for the corporate and that all of us needed to depart. And we did that proper after,” stated Baradwaj.

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