Sam Bankman-Fried Agrees to Help FTX Investors Go After Celeb Promoters

Bankman-Fried’s one-time friends and co-defendants Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh have already settled with the investors.

AccessTimeIconApr 22, 2024 at 4:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 22, 2024 at 4:15 p.m. UTC
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Sam Bankman-Fried has inked a settlement agreement with a group of FTX customers who have agreed to drop their class action lawsuit against him in exchange for his help going after celebrity promoters of the collapsed exchange.

The agreement, filed in a Miami court on Friday, has not yet been approved by a judge. If approved, the settlement would release Bankman-Fried from both current and future civil liability tied to the collapse of FTX.

Bankman-Fried's end of the bargain will see him providing the plaintiffs’ attorneys with information – including both testimony and documents in his possession – to “aid in victim recovery” and assist their litigation efforts against a host of celebrity promoters and venture capital firms who endorsed FTX. He has also agreed to provide the attorneys with financial information and documents, including a total of his remaining personal assets and his firm’s 2021 investment in AI startup Anthropic.

The pending settlement agreement comes shortly after Bankman-Fried was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in FTX’s implosion. Bankman-Fried has appealed his sentence and conviction.

Bankman-Fried’s one-time friends, colleagues and co-defendants Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh and Gary Wang, as well as FTX lawyer Dan Friedberg, have made similar settlement agreements with the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Several of the smaller celebrity promoters – including finance Youtubers Andrei Jikh, Graham Stephan, Jaspreet Singh, Tom Nash, Brian Jung and Jeremy Lefebvre – have also settled, contributing to a common fund of $1.4 million to fund the lawsuit, according to court documents.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was paid $500,000 in 2022 to endorse FTX subsidiary Blockfolio, also settled with the plaintiffs last year.

But most of the big name promoters of FTX – like athletes Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Shaquille O’Neill, Naomi Osaka and Shohei Otani and supermodel Gisele Bundchen – are fighting the lawsuit, as are over a dozen domestic and international venture capital firms.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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Cheyenne Ligon

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

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