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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Elon Musk sets the record straight on FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried and Twitter shares: ‘He owns zero percent’

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Twitter CEO Elon Musk is setting the record straight on FTX’s disgraced founder Sam Bankman-Fried and his alleged ownership of Twitter shares.

In a series of tweets Wednesday afternoon, Musk called out a "fake news" report that alleged Bankman-Fried rolled his $100 million holdings of Twitter, when it was public, into private shares.

Musk discredited a report, written by Semafor’s Liz Hoffman, alleging Bankman-Fried "owns a sizable chunk of a now privately held and debt-laden Twitter." Hoffman cited a "FTX balance sheet prepared after the takeover closed on Oct. 28 and circulated to investors earlier this month."

Musk & Twitter headquarters

Twitter headquarters is seen in San Francisco, California, United States on October 27, 2021.  (Photo illustration by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"SBF/FTX do not own shares in Twitter," Musk said in a tweet, responding to the report.

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He added: "There was a time when you cared about the truth. That is long gone."

In another tweet, Musk called the claim "flat wrong" and said there was "no grey area" in whether FTX or Bankman-Fried owned any shares in his company.

Musk continued to debunk the claims as they circulated more on Twitter.

A photo of Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder and chief executive officer of FTX, in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.  (Photographer: Lam Yik/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Semafor’s Editor-in-chief Ben Smith defended his outlet’s reporting and produced the alleged private exchange between Musk and Bankman-Fried, where Musk seems to encourage the FTX founder to roll his shares.

Musk responded by once again denying the rollover ever took place.

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"All public holders of Twitter were allowed to roll their stock into Twitter as a private company, but he did not do so," he wrote. "Your reporting made it falsely sound like he did, when in fact he owns 0%"

An "added context" flag was subsequently added to Smith’s tweet.

The FTX logo

The FTX logo on a computer display arranged in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022.  (Angel Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Earlier in the day, Musk discredited a similar claim published by Business Insider.

"Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly owns a $100 million stake in Elon Musk's Twitter," a news headline from the outlet read.

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To which Musk replied: "[Business Insider] is not a real publication."

FTX collapsed last week after Bankman-Fried scrambled to raise emergency funds after FTX came under regulatory oversight. The company failed to protect its customers and investors, who collectively face billions of dollars in losses.

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