SBF, his mom had texting debate about what to wear for FTX arrest, book claims

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Sam Bankman-Fried was in a heated texting debate with his mother from his Bahamas penthouse bathroom about what he should wear to be arrested, according to biographer Michael Lewis. Bankman-Fried’s mother, longtime Stanford Law School professor Barbara Fried, reportedly tried to dissuade her son from wearing his signature cargo shorts and T-shirt look, instead suggesting he opt for long pants, the “Big Short” author wrote in his new book, “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon.” Bahamian officials arrived at Bankman-Fried’s penthouse in the Bahamas, where FTX was headquartered, while he was on the phone with his mom. “Is Mister Sam Bankman-Fried here?” one officer asked once inside the $40 million pad that Bankman-Fried shared with 10 of his top staffers. He was, though he was holed up in a bathroom furiously texting his mother what he should wear and what he should say in his testimony, Lewis wrote. Bankman-Fried told his mother he planned to open with: “I f–ked up.” “You cannot say ‘f–k’ to a US congressional committee,” Fried responded. At the same time, Bankman-Fried’s other roommate and then-FTX’s chief operating officer Constance Wang rushed to gather things Bankman-Fried would want in jail, including clothes and Manfred, the stuffed animal that had followed the cryptocurrency founder around the world since birth, according to Lewis. “I think it’s very very important for him to have an emotional attachment,” Wang said of Manfred, according to Lewis’ book. Moments later, a Bahamian officer had Bankman-Fried in handcuffs, though Lewis didn’t say whether he ever changed out of his cargo shorts or take Manfred. Bankman was more formally dressed in a New York court Thursday as his fraud trial got into full swing. Former FTX developer Adam Yedidia took the stand and testified that Bankman-Fried admitted to him that his businesses were “not bulletproof anymore” just a few months before the crypto exchanges went under last November. Yedidia — who was granted immunity for testifying — said that he’d sent Bankman-Fried a text saying: “I love you, Sam. I’m not going anywhere, don’t worry,” though he would end up resigning from FTX days later. “What changed?” federal prosecutor Danielle Sassoon asked him Thursday. “I learned that Alameda had used FTX customer deposits to repay its loans to creditors,” Yedidia said. “What Alameda did seemed like a flagrantly wrong thing to have done.” Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried’s ex-lover who served as the CEO of Alameda, is also set to take the stand. Ellison’s appearance in the courthouse will mark one of the first times she will be seen in public since FTX collapsed. It’s unclear when the 28-year-old plans to appear as a star witness — after a plea deal with federal prosecutors. In exchange for pleading guilty to seven of 10 charges brought against her, including wire fraud and money laundering, Ellison will face a much lighter sentence. Bankman-Fried, meanwhile, is looking at 155 years behind bars should be convicted on all charges relating to securities fraud and conspiracy fraud counts. He has pleaded not guilty. Should he lose, Bankman-Fried’s parents have already started talking about how they might handle his appeal, according to The New Yorker. The Post has sought comment from Bankman-Fried’s counsel, Mark Cohen of law firm Cohen & Gresser.

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