Bankman-Fried spent $1.13 billion on celebrities and sponsorships, says FTX engineer

In the ongoing criminal trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Nishad Singh, the former director of engineering at FTX, testified about Bankman-Fried's extravagant spending habits. Singh claimed that Bankman-Fried spent large sums of money on various expenses, including real estate, venture investments, campaign donations, and celebrity endorsements. Singh stated that he frequently expressed his concerns about the company's spending to Bankman-Fried, describing it as excessive and flashy.

The prosecution considers Bankman-Fried's spending patterns crucial to their case, as it relates to the alleged disappearance of billions of dollars in customer funds that were meant to be invested in cryptocurrency and held in client accounts. Bankman-Fried is facing seven criminal charges, including wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering, which could result in a life sentence if he is found guilty. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Singh, who is cooperating with the prosecution as part of a plea deal, testified that he met Bankman-Fried during high school and worked closely with him at FTX and Alameda Research. He also revealed that Bankman-Fried was heavily involved in the coding process and the development of FTX's technology.

Singh stated that he lived with Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas and became increasingly concerned when he discovered a hole in the balance sheet and learned about Bankman-Fried's extensive spending on investments, real estate, and political donations. He specifically mentioned an investment in K5, which he considered to be "value extractive" and questioned whether it was Bankman-Fried's personal investment rather than FTX's.

Despite his concerns, Singh admitted that he still approved transactions even after learning that customer money was involved in FTX's spending. Singh also disclosed that he owned a significant stake in FTX, making him a paper billionaire when the company was valued at $32 billion.

The trial is ongoing and is expected to last until November. Bankman-Fried's defense team recently filed an appeal requesting more Adderall for their client, who claims to take medication for depression and ADHD. However, the request is unrelated to the substance of the trial.


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