The third day of Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial in New York saw Adam Yedidia back on the stand, where the former FTX developer and onetime close friend of the failed crypto executive provided fresh testimony about life at the collapsed crypto exchange.
Yedidia, who interned for sister trading firm Alameda Research for a short period before joining FTX in Hong Kong in January 2021, gave details about an automated system he set up known as “[email protected]” which tracked customer deposits into FTX that were actually being held by Alameda Research in a bank account in the name of North Dimension, an Alameda subsidiary.
“I figured Alameda was just holding the money,” he said, noting that it would have greatly concerned him if it hadn’t been. He recounted an error he discovered in the code and says he told Bankman-Fried about it in a Signal message which was later autodeleted.
After a game of paddle tennis, Yedidia said he asked Bankman-Fried, “Are things ok?”
“We were bulletproof last year. We’re not bulletproof this year,” he recounted Bankman-Fried as saying, adding that that the former CEO had wanted to raise more cash from Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.
Yedidia shared a house at MIT with both Bankman-Fried and fellow executive Gary Wang, and would also eventually share the penthouse apartment at The Albany resort in the Bahamas with them and other FTX senior employees.
Base salary, sleeping on beanbags
Yedidia confirmed he was well paid, with a base salary of almost $200,000 a year and bonuses that stretched into the millions.
Yedidia said Bankman-Fried occasionally slept on a beanbag in Hong Kong but much more rarely, if at all, in the Bahamas.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers struggled during cross examination, with various questions being thrown out on objection. They attempted to show that Bankman-Fried didn’t spend money on himself, noting he did not buy expensive watches, a yacht, or an expensive sports car, preferring instead a Toyota Corolla.
The defense also argued that FTX had plenty of checks in place to stop U.S. users and businesses from using the international exchange.
Yedidia’s cross-examination is set to continue Thursday afternoon.
Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
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