Caroline Ellison, the former Alameda Research CEO; and Gary Wang, the FTX co-founder plead guilty to the accused federal charges before the court.
Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang are professionals in Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX. Ellison and Wang were Bankman-Fried’s left and right hands in the cryptocurrency scandal. Their roles in the fraud came out as FTX faced a huge collapse the last month.
Who Are Caroline Ellison & Gary Wang? How Are They Related To FTX, Alameda, & Sam Bankman-Fried?
Who Is Caroline Ellison?
Caroline Ellison was the co-Chief Executive Officer of Alameda Research. Alameda Research was co-founded by Sam Bankman-Fried as a cryptocurrency trading firm in 2017. The firm also made a declaration of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2022 along with FTX.
Alameda was regarded as a sister firm of the FTX. The firm collapsed as the customer funds from FTX’s platform were illegally transferred to the firm which resulted in a solvency crisis. The firm reportedly covered its trading losses by using the customer assets of FTX.
Who Is Gary Wang?
Gary Wang is the childhood friend of Sam Bankman-Fried and the co-founder of FTX. He has always maintained a low-key profile by staying away from the media and limelight. Wang and Bankman-Fried met in a high school camp and were later roommates at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Wang had pursued a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Computer Science while Bankman-Fried pursued a Bachelor’s in Physics. Wang also had a significant role in the formation of Alameda Research.
Before the ventures of FTX and Alameda Research Wang was an employee at Google. He is regarded as the one behind the system aggregating prices across public flight data. Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried was working at Jane Street Hedge Fund.
In 2017 both of them left their respective companies to launch Alameda.
In 2021 Caroline Ellison took charge as the CEO of Alameda. Ellison was a junior trader at Jane Street Hedge Fund, where she and Bankman-Fried met each other. She joined Alameda in 2018 and in 2021 became the co-CEO of the firm along with Sam Trabucco.
In 2022 August Trabucco stepped down from the position which made her the Chief Executive Officer.
Ellison and Sam Bankman-Fried were romantically associated with each other. This was disclosed by some of the ex-employees of Alameda and FTX.
Ellison had published a Tumblr blog in which she mentioned exploring polyamory, which added to the rumors. Ellison earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Stanford University.
She has a meritorious academic graph with her participation in the 2011 International Linguistics Olympiad, a 2012 National Merit Scholarship, and getting listed as one of the top 500 students in the Putnam Competitions, a yearly mathematical competition for undergrad students of the U.S. and Canada.
She was on the list consecutively for 3 years; 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Ellison had made financial donations to FTX’s Future Fund in relation to the effective altruism movement. She was removed from her positions in the firms by John Ray after he was appointed as the new CEO of FTX following its fall.
She had acknowledged FTX channelizing its customer funds to Alameda. According to her the other people who were aware of it were Sam Bankman-Fried, Gary Wang, and another executive Nishad Singh.
Gary Wang was a board member of FTX Future Fund. He is also one of the 10 roommates of Bankman-Fried’s luxury property in the Bahamas. Wang made it to the 2022 Forbes Billionaires Under 30 List.
Then his net worth was estimated to be 5.9 billion USD. A major portion of his wealth was linked with the 16% stake in FTX and also a share of its FTT tokens.
With both of them pleading guilty to the charges accused now Sam Bankman-Fried is left alone in the picture and what the future has in store for them is indefinite. The future of FTX is hanging in the hands of the new CEO John Ray.
Ray being an insolvency specialist and an American attorney is believed to restructure the whole crypto exchange platform. FTX is now assisted by Sullivan and Cromwell as the restructuring advisors.
Before the fall FTX was the second-largest crypto exchange in the world. John Ray viewed the fall of the cryptocurrency giant as a result of the complete failure of corporate controls and the absence of an efficient financial information system.
John Ray has expressed concerns about the accuracy of the balance sheets of the firm.
The concerns about the balance sheet of Alameda were raised earlier by other specialist currencies as well. At that time Ellison had covered the concerns by saying that information about only a few sites have been released so far and the firm was yet to release data about assets worth 10 more billion U.S. Dollars.
The details of the guilty plea were reported by Damian Williams, an American attorney. The guilty plea was to the accused federal charges in the Southern District of New York.
Ellison made the guilty plea for two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and two counts of wire fraud.
Wang made the guilty plea for conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit commodities fraud.