Meet Caroline Ellison, Sam Bankman-Fried’s alleged ex-girlfriend

Caroline Ellison — the 28-year-old CEO of doomed crypto firm Alameda Research — is being killed not only by the firm’s multi-billion dollar meltdown, but also by rumors that she’s the ex-girlfriend of disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is subjected to close scrutiny.

Ellison and Bankman-Fried were part of the “cabal of roommates” in a “luxury penthouse” in the Bahamas behind the operations at FTX and Alameda, according to a bombshell report by CoinDesk. Alameda was one of approximately 130 FTX Group subsidiaries that went into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last week.

The roommates are reportedly Bankman-Fried’s former college classmates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former employees of quantitative trading firm Jane Street.

Relations between the group of 10 insiders weren’t strictly business — members of the inner circle “are or used to be involved in romantic relationships,” the report said.

Caroline Ellison
A “cabal of roommates” reportedly controlled FTX and Alameda.
Twitter / @carolinecapital

Ellison and Bankman-Fried have occasionally dated while running the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency empire — which has fallen in value from an estimated $32 billion at its peak to virtually nothing after a rapid decline.

“The entire operation was run by a gang of kids in the Bahamas,” a person familiar with the matter told CoinDesk.

“They will do anything for each other,” another source told the outlet.

A Boston native, Ellison graduated from Stanford University and worked as a trader on Jane Street before getting involved with FTX and Alameda.

While the firm’s meltdown was underway, social media users gushed over her old interviews — including a now viral podcast appearance from July 2020, where Ellison described her childhood obsession with Harry Potter books and her affinity for LARPing – where contestants dress up and pose as fictional characters.

Caroline Ellison
Social media users are digging up Caroline Ellison’s old podcast appearances.
Twitter

“I was pretty obsessed with Harry Potter as a kid,” Ellison said. “I started, I was 3 when the first book came out, my parents read it to me and when I was 5 the second book came out, I refused to wait for my parents to read it, so I read it even .”

Ellison didn’t tweet since November 9 and has yet to deal with bankruptcy.

Caroline Ellison
Ellison graduated from Stanford University.
Twitter / @carolinecapital

Current and former employees of FTX and Alameda told CoinDesk that Bankman-Fried and his circle of friends ran practically wild, with little oversight and major conflicts of interest that raised alarms among workers.

In addition to Ellison and Bankman-Fried, other “roommates” in the Bahamas included Gary Wang, FTX’s co-founder and chief technology officer, and Nishad Singh, FTX’s director of engineering.

The workers also said they were told little about what was happening at the top levels of cryptocurrency firms as they headed towards bankruptcy.

“Gary, Nishad and Sam control the exchange’s code, matching engine and funds,” one of CoinDesk’s sources said. “If they moved them or entered their own numbers, I’m not sure who would notice.”

Ellison and Bankman-Fried did not respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment.

The Post has reached out to FTX for comment. The Alameda Research website appears to be offline.

Alameda had deep ties to FTX’s collapse – which accelerated after CoinDesk reported that the cryptocurrency hedge fund was heavily invested in FTT, a token issued by FTX.

Caroline Ellison
Caroline Ellison has not tweeted since November 9th.

Anywhere between $1 billion and $2 billion in client funds have disappeared since FTX collapsed, according to Reuters. Bankman-Fried is said to have “secretly transferred $10 billion in client funds” from FTX to Alameda — money used to fund the company’s risky operations.

Bankman-Fried told Reuters he “disagreed with the characterization” of the $10 billion in funds transferred.

“We didn’t secretly transfer,” Bankman-Fried said. “We had confusing internal labeling and misunderstood it.”

Caroline Ellison
Caroline Ellison is CEO of Alameda Research.
Twitter / @carolinecapital

Earlier this week, Bankman-Fried erected his penthouse in the exclusive resort town of Albany, Bahamas for sale for nearly $40 million.

But insiders say all FTX executives have had homes at the residence – it’s unclear how many properties will be listed in the coming days.

The Albany Club — the most exclusive resort community in the Bahamas, with members like Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake — has also come under fire.

Sam Bankman Fried and Gisele Bundchen
Sam Bankman-Fried lost his entire fortune during the collapse of FTX.
Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com

The neighborhood was designed to cater to “a new breed of global elite,” according to comments from Albany partner Jason Callender a few years ago.

But over the weekend, Albany Club general manager Damien Michelmore emailed residents with an update that his colleague Sam Bankman-Fried’s company had “filed FTX for bankruptcy,” and instructed residents to stay away from the press speak.

“Out of respect we extend to all homeowners and members, we have directed our staff not to speak to the press, and we respectfully ask our members and homeowners not to comment at this time,” added Michelmore.

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