FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, claimed during an interview on Wednesday that he, at times, acted as a “marketer” for the company when he was asked if he had ever lied while at the now-bankrupt FTX.
The company filed for bankruptcy earlier this month after customers discovered that firms controlled by Bankman-Fried and his associates were allegedly fraudulently intertwined, triggering a liquidity crisis as customers hurried to withdraw funds. A number of individual users and institutional clients still have as much as $8 billion remaining with the company.
“Were you truthful with us today?” CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin asked SBF during an interview at the Dealbook Summit.
“I was as truthful as I, as, you know, I’m knowledgeable to be,” he responded. “There’s, there’s, there’s some things I wish I knew more about. But yes, I was.”
“Let me ask you this: do you agree that over time, you also lied?” Sorkin asked.
“Do I believe, do I agree that I lied?” SBF responded. “I don’t know of times when I lied, I think, look, there are certainly times when I was acting as a, um, as a representative, as a marketer for FTX.”
Sorkin: “Were you truthful with us today?”
SBF: “I was as truthful as I am knowledgable to be.”
Sorkin: “Over time, do you agree that you have lied?”
SBF: “There was times when I was acting a marketer for FTX.” pic.twitter.com/FKOC87I8e8
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 30, 2022
Earlier in the interview, SBF claimed, “I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone. I saw it as a thriving business and I was shocked by what happened this month.”
“What are your lawyers telling you right now?” Sorkin asked. “Are they suggesting it’s a good idea for you to be speaking?”
“No, they’re very much not,” he responded. “The time that I really knew there was a problem was November 6. When we looked at that, there was a potential serious problem.”
When asked if he was in the Bahamas because he believes that he can’t leave, SBF responded by claiming that he runs the company in the Bahamas and that he believes that organizations around the world might still “want” his help.
“How concerned are you about criminal liability at this point?” Sorkin asked.
“So, I don’t think that, I mean, obviously I don’t, I don’t personally think that I have, you know — but I think the real answer is it’s not, sounds weird to say but, but I think the real answer is that’s not what I’m focusing on,” SBF answered. “It’s, there’s gonna be a time and a place for me to sort of think about myself and my own future, but I don’t think this is it.”
“Like, right now, I mean, look, I’ve had a bad month,” SBF continued as the crowd erupted in laughter. “This has not been fun for me.”