In a riveting development, Caroline Ellison’s recent testimony revealed that Alameda Research is believed to have shelled out a whopping $150 million to Chinese officials to unlock accounts valued over $1 billion. The narrative thickens as the former co-CEO, Sam Trabucco, has seemingly vanished from public view after FTX’s downfall.
FTX’s Downfall, Alameda’s Bribery Allegations, and the Big Question: Where’s Sam Trabucco?
Although Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) isn’t facing charges of bribery, given the Bahamas’ intervention, federal prosecutors ensured the topic was front and center during Caroline Ellison‘s Wednesday testimony. She recounted that in 2020, Chinese officials put a freeze on accounts totaling $1 billion. By November 2021, the team allegedly turned to David Ma, a colleague with purported “connections” in China, for guidance. Remarkably, Ma managed to thaw the funds. Court coverage was broadcast by Inner City Press reporter Matthew Russell Lee.
But it wasn’t smooth sailing. The FTX leadership initially tried a different tactic: leveraging accounts linked to Thai prostitutes. When this plan failed, bribery took center stage, with Trabucco as co-CEO then. Ellison was emphatic in her testimony, stating she executed the bribe transactions following instructions from both Bankman-Fried and Trabucco in a Signal chat. This marked the debut of Trabucco’s association with the alleged infractions during the trial.
Since FTX’s collapse in November 2022, Trabucco has remained conspicuously silent. Adding to the intrigue, his opulent yacht recenty surfaced in FTX’s bankruptcy discussions, with Bankman-Fried suggesting Trabucco discreetly quiet quit. Ellison also highlighted the dissent of a former Alameda trader, known as “Handi,” who expressed unease over the alleged bribes. When Handi confided in Ellison and she told her boss, SBF’s alleged retort was a curt “shut the f*** up.” While the judge permitted this testimony, the jury was reminded it wasn’t a formal charge.
Ellison also mentioned documenting the alleged bribes on a ledger titled “State of Alameda.” She asserted that SBF advised her to pen it ambiguously to avoid direct implications, hinting at its potential repercussions in court. Describing Bankman-Fried’s ethos, Ellison termed him a “utilitarian,” noting that core values such as “don’t lie” and “don’t steal” didn’t align with his framework. Ellison testified that she recieved a bonus from her job in the amount of $20 million, and lent $100,000 to one of her parents.
With Trabucco’s name now splashed across the trial, associating him with the rumored bribery of Chinese dignitaries, his fate hangs in the balance. Although four top-tier officials have extended their cooperation to the prosecution, there’s still a shroud of mystery surrounding Trabucco’s involvement or even if he’s under scrutiny. Rumors are swirling that he might be evading the spotlight, living it up on his lavish yacht dubbed “Soak My Deck.” Yet, following the recent revelations, the burning question on everyone’s lips is: Where in the world is Sam Trabucco?
What do you think about Caroline Ellison’s testimony on Wednesday and Trabucco being named in the affairs? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.