Caroline Ellison has admitted she “knew it was wrong” to take part in the alleged Sam Bankman-Fried scam

Sam Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend startlingly admitted during secret court proceedings that she knew “it was wrong” to take part in his alleged fraud scheme, according to a transcript released Friday.

“I’m really sorry for what I did,” said Caroline Ellison. “I knew it was wrong.”

Ellison, 28, pleaded guilty Monday to federal fraud charges related to her role as CEO of hedge fund Alameda Research, which allegedly received billions of dollars from cryptocurrency exchange FTX from the now-bankrupt Bankman-Fried.

Ellison admitted in Manhattan federal court that she “understood that many FTX clients invest in cryptocurrency derivatives and that most FTX clients did not expect FTX to lend their holdings of digital assets and fiat deposits to Alameda in this manner.”

Manhattan District Attorney Damien Williams revealed Wednesday that FTX co-founder Gary Wang also pleaded guilty to the $8 billion collapse of FTX, and he and Ellison are cooperating with the feds.

On Monday, Ellison pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges.

Founder of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried

FTX founder Sam Bankman Fred fired a $250 million bond.


Gary Wang

Gary Wang also pleaded guilty.

FTX Arena logo

FTX was founded in 2019.


Bankman-Fried, 30, was extradited from the Bahamas Wednesday to face an eight-count indictment that carries a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison.

He was released on $250 million bail to house arrest at his parents’ $4 million home in Palo Alto, California, near Stanford University, where they are both law professors.

Ellison’s plea agreement states that she faces up to 110 years in prison and that prosecutors will “not recommend any specific sentence” in exchange for her cooperation.

But she also says that if she provides a “significant help,” they will send a letter asking for a less severe sentence than required by federal sentencing guidelines.

Former Brooklyn federal prosecutor Moira Pinza said it was “too early” to say how much time Ellison would spend in jail, but noted that “early cooperation is the best thing she can do to seriously reduce the potential sentence.”

“Miss. Ellison was in the door as soon as possible and she didn’t even need to be charged. She indicates at every opportunity that she takes responsibility and she’s really sorry,” Pinza said.

Pinza also noted that “it is unheard of for collaborators who testify—even those facing a long sentence like Ms. Ellison—to receive probation in lieu of any prison sentence.”

Defense attorney Ira Sorkin — whose former client, the late Bernie Madoff, was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his epic Ponzi scheme — refuses to guess what will happen to Ellison.

“It’s impossible to predict what you’re going to get at this point,” he said.

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