Billionaire investor Bill Ackman is walking back on comments seemingly defending SBF — says 'nothing could be further from the truth'

bill ackman
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman said his comments on FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried were misinterpreted.Richard Brian/Reuters
  • Bankman-Fried said at NYT's DealBook Summit he had "made a lot of mistakes." But he denied committing fraud.

  • Bill Ackman said his tweet about FTX founder Bankman-Fried being "believable" was misinterpreted.

  • Ackman later walked back on his tweet saying FTX's blow-up was "the most egregious, large-scale case of business gross negligence."

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman said his comments on disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried were misinterpreted.

Ackman was seen to be defending Bankman-Fried after the former FTX CEO denied committing fraud at the New York Times DealBook Summit last Wednesday.

"Clearly I made a lot of mistakes. There are things I would give anything to be able to do over again. I did not ever try to commit fraud on anyone," Bankman-Fried told Andrew Ross Sorkin. He also said he didn't "knowingly commingle" funds between the FTX exchange and Alameda, its affiliated trading firm.

"Call me crazy, but I think @sbf is telling the truth," Ackman, the founder and CEO of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, tweeted Wednesday.

But Ackman — whose net worth is around $3.5 billion, per Forbes — walked back on his comments on Saturday, saying he wasn't defending or "somehow supporting" Bankman-Fried. "Nothing could be further from the truth," tweeted Ackman.

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FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11 and Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO on the same day after it was caught in an intense liquidity crunch for a week. The stunning collapse caught investors by surprise and Bankman-Fried has been on a media apology tour since.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are investigating FTX's collapse. Bankman-Fried was also reportedly interviewed by the Bahamian police on November 12.

"The @FTX_Official fiasco is, at a minimum, the most egregious, large-scale case of business gross negligence that I have observed in my career, and that conclusion is reinforced by SBF's recent public statements," Ackman added in the thread.

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But "if indeed he is telling the truth, it may make it more likely that he has civil rather than criminal liability," tweeted Ackman on Saturday.

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Ackman did not immediately respond to a request from Insider for further comment that was sent to Pershing Square outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider