“There will be a time and a place to think about myself and my future. But I don’t think that’s it. Look, I’ve had a bad month,” Sam Bankman-Fried said in response to a question from host Andrew Ross Sorkin about whether he was concerned about criminal liability for his actions.
The comments drew laughter from the audience and raised eyebrows on social media where many were surprised Bankman-Fried had agreed to the live interview in the first place. Those at the center of potential criminal scandals typically heed the advice of lawyers to keep quiet about giving compromising information to prosecutors.
“I’m not at all,” Bankman-Fried said in response to a question about whether the lawyers were telling him to speak. “I have a duty to explain what happened… I don’t see what it would do me to sit in a room pretending the outside world doesn’t exist.”
Legal observers have suggested that Bankman-Fried’s conduct at FTX could constitute wire fraud, a federal statute that can carry a 20-year prison sentence. As of now, he has not been charged with any criminal charges and is presumed innocent.
Sam Bankman-Fried, dressed in a black T-shirt and virtually appearing from the Bahamas, apologized for the collapse of FTX, which has left it in debt to more than a million customers and creditors. But he denied attempting to commit fraud.
“[I] they have not knowingly mixed once. I was frankly surprised at how great the Alameda location was, which points to another failure on my part. I wasn’t looking to pool funds,” she said, referring to her hedge fund which drew funds from the FTX exchange when it ran into financial troubles earlier this year.
On several occasions during the interview, Bankman-Fried apologized to investors for the FTX debacle, but didn’t seem to acknowledge that he had done anything morally wrong.
“At the end of the day, I had duties to investors, to the world. I didn’t do a good job. I’ve made many mistakes. There are things I would give anything to do again. I have not tried to defraud anyone… There are things I wish I had done differently,” she said.
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