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Sam Bankman-Fried Responds to Fraud Charges: ‘I Didn’t Steal Funds’


Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced cryptocurrency executive, on Thursday made his first detailed response to the criminal charges filed against him last month, arguing that the millions of customers of his collapsed exchange, FTX, could still get their money back.In a statement published on Substack, Mr. Bankman-Fried said that “very substantial recovery remains potentially available.”“I didn’t steal funds, and I certainly didn’t stash billions away,” he wrote. “Nearly all of my assets were and still are utilizable to backstop FTX customers.”His statement came a day after the lawyers overseeing FTX’s bankruptcy said in court that they had recovered at least $5 billion in funds. Mr. Bankman-Fried cited that announcement to try to bolster his case that FTX customers could still be made “substantially whole.” It was not clear whether he had vetted his statement with his legal team before publishing it.FTX filed for bankruptcy in November after a run on customer deposits exposed an $8 billion hole in its accounts. Mr. Bankman-Fried, 30, was then arrested last month at his home in the Bahamas, where FTX was based, and swiftly extradited to the United States. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged him with fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations.The authorities claim that Mr. Bankman-Fried siphoned billions of dollars in customer deposits from FTX and used the funds to purchase luxury real estate, invest in other companies, mak …

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