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- Disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said he used to work 18 hours a day, per his planned testimony.
- He wrote that one of his biggest mistakes was cutting his workday down by 30%.
- Bankman-Fried currently faces fraud charges from the SEC, and was arrested on Monday.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried thinks one of his biggest mistakes was cutting his workday from 18 hours to about 13 hours a day, he wrote in a draft of his planned testimony.
In his 7,000-word draft, Bankman-Fried wrote that he was “less grounded in operational details” in the months leading up to his exchange’s downfall.
“I also prided myself on having a strong work ethic; I began FTX routinely working 18 hour days. But for much of 2022, I believe that I was working about 30% less than I used to,” he added. “And even when I was working, I was less focused and disciplined than I used to be.”
Bankman-Fried wrote that he started spending more time this year talking with regulators, working on branding and new deals for FTX, and managing the exchange’s workforce.
“That’s time that wasn’t spent focusing on the actual core product, including risk management,” the draft read.
Bankman-Fried wasn’t able to testify as scheduled before the House Services Financial Committee on Tuesday, because he was arrested the day before in the Bahamas.
Instead, newly appointed FTX CEO John Ray’s testimony became the nucleus of Tuesday’s hearing. Ray accused FTX of engaging in “plain old embezzlement” under Bankman-Fried and called the company’s leadership “grossly inexperienced.”
Bankman-Fried distanced himself from allegations of fraud in his draft, which was not read out in full at Tuesday’s hearing.
In the planned testimony, he blamed himself for making a “number of significant mistakes” but said he didn’t know about risky investments executed by FTX.
“I thought that I could hold FTX together despite the expansion. I was wrong,” he wrote. “I bit off more than I could chew, and ended up failing to focus on risk management.”
Bankman-Fried was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, and is accused by authorities of diverting “billions of dollars” of FTX’s customer funds for “his own personal benefit and to help grow his crypto empire.”
Bankman-Fried’s spokesperson, Mark Botnick, told Insider he had no further comment on Bankman-Fried’s testimony draft.