Sam Bankman-Fried, a cryptocurrency entrepreneur, harbored ambitions of one day reaching the presidency of the United States, as revealed by his former girlfriend and ex-CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, during her testimony in a Manhattan courtroom this past Tuesday.
According to Ellison, Bankman-Fried would often mention that there was a 5% chance he might become president in the future. Over the course of their three-year relationship, he shared his aspirations of becoming a significant figure in both the business and political landscapes.
The cryptocurrency magnate, currently facing a criminal trial, stands accused of conspiring with members of his inner circle, including Ellison, to defraud customers and investors on his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. Ellison has already pleaded guilty to her involvement in the fraud and has been cooperating with authorities, while Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all seven criminal charges brought against him.
Their relationship commenced while Bankman-Fried, 31 years old, and Ellison worked at Jane Street, a quantitative investment firm. Ellison began as an intern, and Bankman-Fried was a trader. Later, he persuaded her to join Alameda Research, a hedge fund under his ownership, where she eventually assumed the role of CEO in 2021.
Their romantic involvement started in the fall of 2019, with its fair share of ups and downs, but they officially began dating in the summer of 2020. Nevertheless, by mid-2022, the relationship had definitively come to an end, despite Ellison retaining her position as CEO of Alameda Research.
It's worth noting that, up to that point, Bankman-Fried had not publicly expressed personal political ambitions. According to Ellison's testimony, he believed that political donations were a shrewd investment, with his multi-million-dollar contributions to President Joe Biden's 2020 campaign perceived as a source of substantial recognition.
Last week, it was revealed that Bankman-Fried, the co-founder of FTX, even contemplated the notion of paying former President Donald Trump not to run in the 2024 presidential elections. The sum discussed was a staggering $5 billion, although it remains unclear whether the proposal directly originated from Trump. A spokesperson for the former president stated that SBF had been "exposed as a fraudster and an untrustworthy individual.