Mr. Bankman-Fried, 31, is accused of misusing billions of dollars taken from customer accounts and faces eight counts of fraud and election law violations.

His spectacular downfall, which sent FTX and Alameda into bankruptcy, transformed Ms. Ellison from a powerful - yet relatively private - figure into an object of tabloid speculation.

Ms. Ellison, a Stanford graduate, got to know Mr. Bankman-Fried at Jane Street, the quantitative trading firm where he worked after college. They shared a commitment to effective altruism, the charitable movement that has gained adherents in the tech and finance industries.

After Mr. Bankman-Fried left Jane Street to start Alameda in 2017, he recruited Ms. Eliison as a trader. In 2021, he promoted her to co-chief executive, alongside another early hire, Sam Trabucco.

As Mr. Bankman-Fried's sometimes girlfriend and one of the earliest hires, Ms. Ellison had unique insights into the FTX founder.

She also recorded many of her thoughts in writing, making observations about her personal and professional life in a handwritten diary and on Google documents that have circulated among lawyers involved in the case, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times and four people familiar with the investigation.

The documents, which have not been previously reported, offer new insight into Ms. Ellison's psychology during the final months of FTX.

Three months after the cryptocurrency market imploded last year, Caroline Ellison, the 27-year-old chief executive of the crypto hedge fund Alameda Research, was racked with self-doubt.

'' I have been feeling pretty unhappy and overwhelmed by my job,'' Ms. Ellison wrote in a Google document in February 2022. She added : '' At the end of the day I can't wait to go home and turn off my phone and have a drink and get away from it all.''

Ms. Ellison had a lot on her mind. She did not think that she was suited to running Alameda or particularly decisive as a leader, she wrote in another Google document.

She was also going through a breakup with Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire entrepreneur who had founded Alameda and then FTX, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges. They had dated on and off, and Ms. Ellison worried about ''making things weird'' and ''causing drama.''

'' It doesn't really feel like there's an end in sight,'' she wrote in the February 2022 document.

Now Ms. Ellison is poised to be a star witness at Mr. Bankman-Fried's criminal trial, which is scheduled for Oct. 2.

Last December, she pleaded guilty to fraud charges and agreed to cooperate with the federal prosecutors investigating her former boyfriend.

Mr. Bankman's case is speeding toward a courtroom showdown in New York. Two other top FTX executives, Nishad Singh and Gary Wang, have also pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate. In June, after weeks of legal wrangling over the charges against Mr.Bankman-Fried.

People who know Ms. Ellison say they have been struck by her earnestness and her willingness to admit her own failings. In court in December, she said she was ''truly sorry'' for committing fraud. '' I know that it was wrong,'' she said.

Ms. Ellison is expected to repeat that assertion at Mr. Bakeman-Fried's trial, which is set to last four or five weeks. Much of the trial will revolve around messages that Mr. Bakeman-Fried and the three cooperators exchanged on the messaging app Signal, two people briefed on the matter said.

As a woman in the male-dominated crypto industry, Ms. Ellison may appear more sympathetic to the jury than the other cooperators, lawyers familiar with the case said.

In interviews last year, Mr. Bankman-Fried shifted some blame for the collapse to Alameda, saying he had little involvement in the hedge-fund's day-to-day management.

Moira Penza, a former federal prosecutor, said the best government cooperator accepted blame on the witness stand and that the '' power differential '' between Ms. Ellison and Mr. Bankman-Fried could make her a compelling voice.

'' This does not strike me as an effective strategy for the defendant to be blaming down,'' Ms. Penza said. '' Especially with someone who was once a romantic partner.''

The World Students Society thanks authors David Yaffe-Bellany and Matthew Goldstein.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!