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Photo of FTX founder with Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom introduced in Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial.

FTX Founder Seen with Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom at NFL Super Bowl


The jury at Sam Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial was presented with a photograph of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder alongside singer Katy Perry and actor Orlando Bloom at the 2022 NFL Super Bowl. Prosecutors used this evidence to strengthen their case against Bankman-Fried, claiming that he misused customer funds to enhance his public image.

A Lavish Lifestyle

During the trial, Nishad Singh, FTX’s former director of engineering, testified that the company spent hundreds of millions of dollars on celebrity partnerships and marketing in early 2022. These extravagant expenses occurred just months before the exchange went bankrupt due to a significant number of customer withdrawals. Singh expressed his disapproval of these excessive and flashy deals, stating that they did not align with the company’s core values.

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Effective Altruism

Both Singh and Bankman-Fried are advocates of effective altruism, a movement that encourages individuals to pursue lucrative careers and donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Singh, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiring to violate campaign finance laws, has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

The Allegations

Prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried embezzled billions of dollars from FTX customers to support his hedge fund, Alameda Research, purchase real estate, and contribute over $100 million to U.S. political campaigns, all in an effort to promote legislation favorable to cryptocurrencies. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy related to FTX’s collapse in November 2022. While acknowledging his mistakes in running FTX, he denies any theft of funds.

A Compromising Photograph

The photograph displayed in court, originally posted by Perry on her Instagram account, depicted Bankman-Fried wearing a blue T-shirt with the word “FTX” during the Super Bowl. Also present in the photo was Michael Kives, who Bankman-Fried proposed partnering with to gain access to influential individuals. Singh expressed concerns about this partnership, believing it would have a negative impact on FTX’s culture.

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Additional Endorsement Deals

Prosecutors presented a spreadsheet detailing FTX’s endorsement deals, which amounted to $1.1 billion. These deals included naming rights to the Miami Heat’s basketball arena and partnerships with NFL quarterback Tom Brady, model Gisele Bundchen, basketball star Steph Curry, and comedian Larry David. Singh testified that another FTX executive claimed these deals would help drive user growth.

Testimony from Insiders

Singh is the third former member of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle to testify at the trial. The jury has already heard from Gary Wang, FTX’s former technology chief, and Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend and the former CEO of Alameda Research.


In a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers requested a higher dose of Adderall, a medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, to help him focus during the trial. Bankman-Fried has been observed typing on a laptop and conferring with his lawyers during the proceedings. The Federal Bureau of Prisons stated that inmates are provided with Adderall when clinically necessary.

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