Billionaire investor Bill Ackman has denied claims he defended Sam Bankman-Fried after the crypto-hacker tweeted that his excuses for the FTX crash were “credible.”
The Pershing Square Capital Management boss turned heads last week at the New York Times DealBook Summit after saying, “Call me crazy, but I think @sbf is telling the truth,” following a lengthy Bankman-Fried interview.
Ackman, who is worth $3.5 billion according to Forbes, tried to clarify his comments on Saturday.
“I participated… and tweeted that I believed SBF to be credible. Many took my tweet to mean that I was defending SBF or in some way supporting it. Nothing could be further from the truth,” the senior wrote. siq fund on twitter.
He added in a tweet that the FTX scandal was the worst “gross negligence” he had ever seen.
“The @FTX_Official fiasco is, to say the least, the most egregious, gross business negligence I’ve seen in my career, and that conclusion is reinforced by SBF’s recent public statements,” Ackman wrote.
Bankman-Fried denied any wrongdoing in an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wednesday, saying he did not “knowingly commingle” funds between the crypto exchange and FTX’s sister trading firm Alameda Research.
“Obviously I’ve made a lot of mistakes. There are things I’d give anything to do over again. I’ve never tried to defraud anybody,” Bankman-Fried said.
Ackman noted Saturday that if Bankman-Fried is “truthful, it could increase the possibility that she will be held civilly, rather than criminally, liable.”
Attempts to reinterpret Ackman’s comments were met with incredulity. Liquidity, a popular financial meme account, commented, “sick backpedal.”
Another account that tracks trading activity, Extraordinary Whales, posted a screenshot from early November in which Ackman applauded Bankman-Fried for “her accountability.”
Ackman said he had “never seen a CEO take charge” like Bankman-Fried.
A spokeswoman for Pershing Square did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11 is facing investigations From the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.