Gary Wang, the Quiet Geek Mastermind of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Massive Fraud With FTX and Alameda…

He is one of the people implicated in the FTX bankruptcy. Gary Wang, a brilliant engineer and close friend of Samuel Bankman-Fried pleads guilty in the American courts.

Illustration by Sylvain Saurel

He too has been swept away by the storm. Gary Wang, a 29-year-old American engineer, was until now one of the most discreet but brilliant figures in the crypto sphere. But that was before the FTX empire, which he co-founded with Samuel Bankman-Fried, shattered in November 2022.

Gary Wang announced that he would plead guilty to four counts in the investigation launched in the United States against the executives of the now-bankrupt company. Alongside him, Caroline Ellison, the former head of Alameda Research, FTX’s trading platform, also pleaded guilty to seven counts.

At the top of this sulfurous trio who shared a luxurious penthouse in the Bahamas, the one called SBF.

The fallen boss of the company is due to appear before American judges soon as the main defendant in this case, which weakens a little more the sphere of cryptocurrencies. They are accused of embezzling several billion dollars from the capital of FTX, including a portion from customer deposits.

Several executives allegedly used the money to finance a luxurious lifestyle in the Bahamas, where the company was housed.

The little-known Gary Wang grew up in New Jersey. A bright student, he met SBF in 2008 at a summer camp for young math geniuses. He later attended the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as did SBF. Both students join MIT’s Epsilon Theta fraternity. “This fraternity will be shaped by our shared beliefs, the most important of which is the need for love and honesty as the basis of human understanding,” reads the student organization’s website.

Gary Wang graduated with a degree in computer science and mathematics in 2015, then joined Google as a software engineer. Among other things, he helped develop the Google Flights site.

In 2019, he partnered with his loyal friend SBF to create FTX. Gary Wang then becomes the discreet brain of a flourishing company, intervening little in the media while SBF takes care of the public image. Gary Wang is presented by former friends as a recluse, the kind of geek who wants to stay away from the spotlight. He was the CTO of the company until its recent bankruptcy.

Central role

According to the first elements of the investigation made public by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) — the American stock market regulator which also opened an investigation — the mysterious Gary Wang would have actively participated in the fraud. He was the mastermind behind the software that allowed Alameda to access billions of dollars from the parent company FTX, some of which came from customer deposits.

Gary Wang himself is said to have received personal loans from the company’s funds. He also admitted to being aware of the various financial manipulations between FTX and Alameda.

Given his prominent role in the case, Gary Wang, who was released on bail for some $250 million, faces up to 50 years in prison. By pleading guilty and being cooperative, he could be granted leniency by the judicial authorities to avoid spending the rest of his life behind bars.

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1 Response

  1. January 8, 2023

    […] Gary Wang, the Quiet Geek Mastermind of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Massive Fraud With FTX and Alameda… […]

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