The C-Suite at FTX has been, for the most part, cooperative with authorities. With the exception of Ryan Salama – who preferred not to say anything for the time being to avoid incrimination – and two other executives who left before the collapse and were not accused of any wrongdoing, they pleaded guilty and agreed to testify in court.
Following testimony from French commodities trader Marc-Antoine Guillard — who specifically stated that he rejected margin trading in favor of spot trading to remain in control of his money — and his college acquaintance turned FTX colleague Adam Yedida, the third day of the SBF trial saw testimony from Gary Wang, the first witness to He has access to the master key to FTX’s internal workings.
Self-embedding right off the bat
After pleasantries and several preliminary information, the court immediately brought strong charges against the former technology executive. After pleading guilty—likely in exchange for a reduced sentence—Wang quickly admitted his guilt and that of his alleged co-conspirators.
SBF’s Lesnar: So not having a FTX board didn’t stop you from investing?
JUDGE KAPLAN: Obviously… come to the sidebar.
[The lawyers head up. This we cannot hear. Then, witness is done.[
Next witness: Gary Wang.
AUSA: What was your job at FTX?
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) October 5, 2023
On the stand, Gary Wang almost immediately confirmed that he had indeed committed crimes at FTX.
AUSA: “Have you committed crimes at FTX?”
Gary Wang: “Yes. With Nishad Singh, Caroline Ellison and Sam Bankman-Fried.
Osa: “Is that there?”
Gary Wang: “Yes.”
The US Attorney then immediately addressed the issue of Internet fraud. Wang quickly acknowledged its existence and advertiser This was done by allowing Alameda to withdraw unlimited funds.
When pressed further, Wang pointed out that these special privileges had been built into the code. He also noted that – despite his 17% ownership stake in FTX – all disputes were ultimately resolved in accordance with SBF’s wishes.
AUSA: Aside from buying and selling cryptocurrencies, what can clients do at FTX?
Gary Wang: Futures, for example…
AUSA: How did FTX make money?
Gary Wang: Fees.
AUSA: Who are the clients?
Gary Wang: Institutional and retail clients.
– Inner City Press (innercitypress) October 5, 2023
Fees and practices
After Wang unequivocally admitted his guilt, the court asked the former technical director how his company generated revenue. Wang replied that the revenue was generated through trading fees.
The name of the sister platform, Alameda Research, was also discussed. When pressed for an answer, Wang noted that the “research part of the name” was chosen because SBF believed it would be easier to register a bank account in the name, meaning the company was active in research and development.
“Sam said it would be easier to get a bank account. […] Don’t call it “Shit Coin Daytraders Inc.” Nobody doesn’t like research.”
After several more questions, Gary Wang was allowed to step down from the witness stand – although he will likely return for further questioning at a later date. The court adjourned its session shortly after.
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