Former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh testified in Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal fraud trial that he hopes to avoid jail time by cooperating with prosecutors, according to reports on October 16th.
Singh pleaded guilty to fraud charges in February and is testifying against his former boss Sam Bankman-Fried as part of a deal with the Justice Department. He reportedly faces up to 75 years in prison for his role in allegedly defrauding FTX customers.
In his testimony on Monday, Singh stated that FTX had spent around $1.3 billion on celebrity endorsements from figures like Tom Brady prior to its collapse.
He also revealed that FTX co-founder Gary Wang had informed him that trading firm Alameda Research borrowed over $13 billion from FTX, a figure that did not alarm SBF.
“I felt betrayed, something I’d put in blood, sweat, and tears for five years turning out so horrible,” Singh remarked, according to courtroom reports.
He described SBF casually proposing a $120 million investment to buy messaging app Telegram and said Alameda improperly used FTX customer funds for political donations at SBF’s direction.
When liquidity issues emerged in November 2022, Singh said he became suicidal while attempting to reconcile FTX’s dire situation with its public assurances.
He portrayed SBF as often spending Alameda’s money excessively without oversight.
Singh described feeling betrayed by SBF, whom he had previously viewed as a visionary. If permitted to avoid prison time, he could be a damaging witness in highlighting mismanagement and deception at FTX under Bankman-Fried.
SBF faces seven criminal counts in his ongoing trial and 5 additional charges in a second case slated to begin in March 2024. The charges collectively carry maximum penalties exceeding 100 years in prison.