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Collapsed crypto exchange FTX tried to recover frozen funds from Alameda Research by using accounts registered to Thai prostitutes, ex-Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison told jurors today.
In her second day of testimony, star witness Ellison took the stand on Wednesday to tell jurors that FTX insiders tapped the sex workers in a bid to try and reclaim $1 billion worth of funds frozen by the Chinese government.
Ellison, who is Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend and admitted fraud related to the collapse of crypto exchange FTX back in December, further alleged that the identities of the Thai prostitutes were found by Sam Trabucco, former co-CEO of Alameda.
Its funds were frozen by the Chinese government in response to a money laundering investigation that did not involve Alameda, the court was told.
A lawyer in China was hired to try and get the funds unfrozen, but he was ultimately unsuccessful.
When that didn’t work, Ellison said that the team decided to send approximately $150 million in crypto assets to wallets believed to belong to Chinese officials. But she referred to it in coded language when including it on a report to Bankman-Fried.
Ellison is a star witness in Bankman-Fried’s trial. She yesterday alleged that Bankman-Fried directed her to commit crimes.
Alleged crypto crook Bankman-Fried was arrested after his FTX behemoth filed for bankruptcy back in November last year.
FTX, once the most recognized brands in the crypto space, quickly and unexpectedly went bankrupt last November. Prosecutors now allege he criminally mismanaged the company.
Bankman-Fried is now facing seven criminal charges and his trial is expected to last six weeks.