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Caroline Ellison said she was “really sorry” for defrauding FTKS customers

  • Caroline Ellison told a judge she was “truly sorry” for her role in the collapse of FTX, according to the New York Times.
  • The former CEO of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research pleaded guilty on December 19 to seven counts.
  • Charges included wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Caroline Ellison apologized for her role in defrauding customers and investors of cryptocurrency exchange FTKS, telling a judge she “knew it was wrong,” according to a transcript of her plea hearing seen by The New York Times.

The former CEO of crypto-trading firm Sam Bankman-Fried Alameda Research told US District Judge Ronnie Abrams in Manhattan federal court: “I am truly sorry for what I did.

The 28-year-old was released on $250,000 bond after pleading guilty on Dec. 19 to seven counts in the FTKS case. Charges include wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, according to her plea agreement. The court unsealed the transcript of her Dec. 22 plea hearing.

Ellison told the judge she agreed with the decision by her ex-boyfriend Bankman-Fried and others to cover up the close relationship between FTKS and Alameda, according to a transcript seen by The Times. She also said she agreed with the decision to divert billions in customer deposits to FTKS to pay off Alameda’s loans.

“It was my understanding that if Alameda FTKS accounts have significant negative balances in any particular currency, that means Alameda is borrowing funds that FTKS customers have deposited into the exchange,” according to a transcript of the hearing reported by Bloomberg.

She also admitted that FTKS executives received billions in hidden loans from Alameda, Reuters reported.

Ellison’s attorney did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Bankman-Fried, 30, faces eight criminal charges stemming from a scheme authorities believe he orchestrated by misappropriating billions in customer deposits to boost trading in Alameda, pay off loans, buy real estate, loan money to FTKS executives and make millions in campaign contributions.

He was extradited last week from the Bahamas, where FTKS was based, after being arrested on December 12. The pictures show him “chilling” in the American Airlines lounge at JFK Airport before heading to his parents’ home in California on December 22.

FTKS filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 11 after it imploded, wiping out billions in customer deposits. Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO on the same day.

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