Sam Bankman-Fried grilled on being another Bernie Madoff, possible jail time

Posted 58 days ago


Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, joined ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday and was asked about possible jail time and on being considered another Bernie Madoff.

Host George Stephanopoulos asked Bankman-Fried if he was worried about facing jail time.

"There are lot of things that are worrying me right now and you know as best as possible I'm trying to focus on what I can do going forward to be helpful and, you know, let whatever, you know, regulatory and legal processes are happening play out as they will," the former FTX CEO said.

Stephanopoulos also told Bankman-Fried that at lot of people look at him and "see Bernie Madoff."

"Yeah, I mean, I don’t think that’s who I am at all, but I understand why they’re saying that. People lost money. And people lost a lot of money and I mean at the end of the day, look, there’s a question of what happened and why and who did what. What caused the meltdown and I think that is – reads very differently. When you look at the classic Bernie Madoff story, there was no real business there. The whole thing, as I understand it, I think, was just one big ponzi scheme, right? FTX, that was a real business," he said.

Bankman-Fried also denied knowing that there was any "improper use of customer funds."

Stephanopoulos asked how he would explain the failure and if it was "unethical."

"Some part of it was just literal distraction. I really should have spent some time each day taking a step back and saying, what are the most important things here? Right? And how do I have oversight of those and make sure that I’m not losing track of those and, frankly, I did a pretty incomplete job at that. I spent a lot less time looking at assets and looking at balances and positions because that’s not where revenue came from and so I wasn’t seeing it as a core business driver. Obviously it was a core risk and that was a huge mistake not to think more about that," he said.... (Read more)