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Several FTX top officials busy in ‘cleaning mess’ from hiding

FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, SBF, Alameda Research, Nishad Singh, Constance Wang Zhe, T'Shae Cooper, Dan Friedberg, Devon Bernard, John J. Ray III, Will Stroud, Constance Wang Zhe, Tom Loverro, Jen Chan, Chris McCann, William MacAskill, Ramnik Arora, Dan Friedberg, and Ryan Salame

Economy

Several FTX top officials busy in ‘cleaning mess’ from hiding

While fraudulent crypto venture FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried and Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison as well as Gary Wang are already on bail, Nishad Singh, Sam Trabucco and few more key officials of FTX and Alameda Research have gone into hiding and are working in “cleaning mess” or secretly sending loot-cash to a number of countries, including the United Arab Emirates, India, Dominica, Pakistan and African nations.

Although the so-called mainstream media is currently busy in exposing criminal actions of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang and Nishad Singh, they are not talking about few more FTX and Alameda Research officials such as Constance Wang Zhe, T’Shae Cooper, Dan Friedberg, Devon Bernard, John J. Ray IIII, Will Stroud, Constance Wang Zhe, Tom Loverro, Jen Chan, Chris McCann, William MacAskill, Ramnik Arora, Dan Friedberg, and Ryan Salame.

According to credible source, while Sam Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang are facing legal issues, other members of the fraudulent FTX and Alameda Research, such as Nishad Singh, Constance Wang Zhe, T’Shae Cooper, Dan Friedberg, Devon Bernard, John J. Ray III, Will Stroud, Constance Wang Zhe, Tom Loverro, Jen Chan, Chris McCann, William MacAskill, Ramnik Arora, Dan Friedberg, and Ryan Salame are secretly shifting millions of dollars to several countries, while some of them also are trying to flee the US and take shelter in any country wherefrom they may not be extradited.

Before going into details, let us first try to know background of some of the notorious fraudsters of FTX and Alameda Research.

William MacAskill, the 35-year-old Scottish is known as the mentor of Sam Bankman-Fried.

MacAskill is the thinker perhaps most associated with the moral philosophy known as “effective altruism,” which was profoundly influential on Bankman-Fried, Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and others in their intimate circle. MacAskill is currently an associate professor in philosophy and a research fellow at the Global Priorities Institute at England’s University of Oxford.

After Sam Bankman-Fried established the philanthropic Future Fund, MacAskill became an adviser, helping distribute funds for maximum impact. After the collapse of Alameda and FTX, MacAskill announced that he had resigned, saying the role had been unpaid. Staff of the Future Fund have also resigned, announcing that many grants already promised to organizations will now go unfulfilled because of the blowup.

According to a recent profile of MacAskill in the New Yorker, effective altruists worldwide now control roughly US$30 billion in philanthropic funds.

According to a fawning profile of Bankman-Fried published by Sequoia Capital, MacAskill had a direct and sizable influence on the founder’s worldview from very early on. (Sequoia has long been one of the most respected venture capital funds in Silicon Valley, and invested a reported US$210 million in FTX. It has since written the investment down to zero – and deleted the profile of Bankman-Fried from its website).

MacAskill, according to the Sequoia profile, was introduced to SBF through MIT’s Epsilon Theta, the “coed fraternity of supergeeks” through which many future members of the FTX leadership circle first connected. That led to a coffee meeting in which MacAskill pitched effective altruism to Bankman-Fried, years before SBF founded the crypto exchange.

During that initial meeting, MacAskill reportedly urged Bankman-Fried to adopt an “earn to give” approach to life. That mindset could be easily mistaken for a moral license to bend the rules, especially by someone who, like Sam Bankman-Fried, “would never read a book”.

But MacAskill’s influence was not merely to give Bankman-Fried an all-too-wobbly ethical framework. Also, according to the Sequoia profile, it was MacAskill who suggested Bankman-Fried pursue an internship at the trading firm Jane Street, rather than more directly public-spirited options Bankman-Fried was considering, such as becoming a journalist or entering politics directly. Jane Street became a stepping stone that led directly to the creation, and ultimately downfall, of Alameda Research and FTX.

Ramnik Arora, sometimes called SBF’s “key lieutenant” was one of FTX’s most high-profile hires. In addition to overseeing the rollout of new products at the exchange, Arora was key to FTX’s investor relations. He reportedly served as a conduit to the venture capital giant Sequoia Capital, which invested in FTX’s Series B funding round and advocated for Bankman-Fried. The Information, citing internal sources, also said Arora played a large role on the opposite side of investor relations at FTX, and helped close a number of venture deals Bankman-Fried and his exchange made into crypto startups. He was a general partner at FTX Ventures, where he helped close rounds with Aptos, LayerZero and Coral.

Ramnik Arora has a master’s degree in mathematics and computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, New York University and Stanford. Before joining Facebook (since renamed Meta), he held various roles at IV Capital and Goldman Sachs. He founded his own venture fund called Toy Ventures, initially “with his own and his friends’ capital”.

Daniel S. Friedberg alias Dan Friedberg was the chief compliance officer at FTX, the person who oversaw the then-second-largest cryptocurrency exchange’s compliance initiatives before it imploded. He joined the firm in March 2020. Friedberg has also been tied to an online poker scandal in 2008, where Ultimate Bet’s founder Russ Hamilton was accused of installing a “God mode” on his gambling platform that only certain players had access to – resulting in an estimated US$50 million in misappropriated funds.

In a surreptitiously recorded file, Friedberg reportedly advised Hamilton to claim he was a victim of the Ultimate Bets “God mode” scam, and push blame on an unnamed consultant to the company who exploited the site’s servers.

Veteran short seller Marc Cohodes, one of the few to publicly question the rapid rise of FTX before its fall in a September interview with trading-focused webcast Hedgeye, had noted the potential conflicts of hiring someone connected to a cheating scandal to oversee compliance at the US$32 billion FTX exchange.

In August, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) sent a letter to Friedberg and then-FTX US CEO Brett Harrison to “cease and desist” using marketing language that could have been erroneously interpreted as saying that exchange users accounts were ensured by the federal banking regulator.

Before joining FTX, Friedberg was a partner at Fenwick & West LLP, where he led the law firm’s cryptocurrency division, according to a now-deprecated LinkedIn page. He received a JD and MBA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ryan Salame, co-CEO of FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary, FTX Digital Markets is a key player in FTX’s global licensing strategy. Salame, a 2015 graduate from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, was co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, the Bahamas-based holding company for much of the crypto exchange’s global footprint. He also held a CPA license in Massachusetts that expired in 2018. He earned a master’s degree in finance from Georgetown University.

Ryan Salame joined FTX in 2019 from the stablecoin issuer Circle Internet Financial, and before that served as a senior tax accountant at Ernst & Young (EY). On his LinkedIn page he claims to have assisted Bankman-Fried incorporate the recently built exchange as FTX Trading Ltd.

Before being appointed co-CEO of FDM, Salame had spent two years as Alameda Research’s head of OTC [over-the-counter] for the Asia-Pacific region, while based in Hong Kong. He also apparently has ownership in a number of restaurants through a partnership with Lenox Eats. Among those is “a food truck with a flexible ‘pop up’ style menu” called Lunch Pail, which was expected to open in 2022.

Constance Wan Zhe is the chief operating officer of FTX who has earlier worked as compliance staffer at Credit Suisse. In the days since FTX exploded, Constance Wang Zhe has come under fire for her seeming lack of experience. Indeed, the National University of Singapore graduate – class of 2015 – has a fairly short resume: a Singapore-based Credit Suisse analyst turned business development lead at Huobi who caught the express train to wealth by joining FTX in 2019.

Constance Wang Zhe had lived in Sam Bankman-Fried’s 10-person crash pad in the Bahamas, where the entire gang of FTX and Alameda Research executives were involved in orgy parties, romance and gambling.

Jen Chen is the chief financial officer of FTX and full owner of an subsidiary of the fraudulent crypto venture.

A native Hong Kong, Jen Chen between 2003 and 2006 was an assistant manager at KPMG, the auditing firm. She then had a multi-year stint at Blackstone, serving at a director level for its investing and accounting business. Immediately before joining FTX, Chan was head of investment management company Alter Domus’ Hong Kong office, and had also spent time as an accountant in a division of Deutsche Bank called RREEF.

Jen Chen attended the city-state’s prestigious Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She joined Bankman-Fried’s empire in October 2018 as director of Cottonwood Grove Limited, a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of Alameda Research, which was then registered in the British Virgin Islands.

According to the Financial Times, Chan owned 100 percent of Salameda Ltd, a Hong Kong-based entity of FTX that looked like “a group outrider with links to Alameda entities by service agreements”.

Nishad Singh, FTX’s Director of Engineering and owner of 7.8 percent stake in the fraudulent crypto exchange has received US$543 million loan from Alameda Research and gone into hiding since the arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried. Nishad Singh was one of few people who had known that FTX was misusing customer funds. He was likely one of the five coworkers that Bankman-Fried referenced as a billionaire.

T’Shae Cooper, full name T’Shae Yvonne Dirkelle Cooper is one of the key executives of FTX Trading Ltd. Office address of FTX Trading Ltd is 27 Veridian Corporate Center, New Providence, Bahamas Islands. He graduated from the Northwestern University School of Law.

Devon Bernard, an executive of FTX has also gone into hiding. Bernard wrote on his social media account, “I’m an aspiring entrepreneur and technologist trying to make a positive dent in the universe. I specialize in software engineering and full-stack web development, been a self-started hacker since age 13”.

According to a credible source, some of those hiding FTX and Alameda Research executives are busy in contacting several influential politicians and officials at the Department of Justice with the mission of getting the “mess cleared” and save Sam Bankman-Fried and others from imprisonment. They also reportedly are channeling-out FTX/Alameda loot fund to several countries in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

Tajul Islam

Tajul Islam is a Special Correspondent of Blitz.

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