Trabucco was one of the top executives of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire. He served as co-CEO of Alameda until his August. In November, FTX and Alameda imploded within days due to a deposit run that revealed that Alameda had lost billions of dollars in his FTX client funds.
These companies are now the subject of bankruptcy proceedings and extensive criminal investigations, and several former Trabucco colleagues have been charged with fraud. Authorities allege Bankman-Fried orchestrated the scheme, with Alameda using his FTX client funds to underpin the trade and provide financing to management. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty.
Investigators Charge FTX Co-Founder Gary Wang and Ex-Alameda Co-CEO Caroline Ellison holds responsibility for fraud and other violations. Ellison and Wang agreed to plead guilty to her in late December and have been cooperating with the investigation.
In contrast, Trabucco has not featured as prominently in legal proceedings as his former colleagues. He has not been charged, nor has it been made public whether he is cooperating with investigators.
Neither Trabucco nor his family have commented publicly.
A Globe review of his public interviews, financial records, social media posts from him and his friends, and interviews with half a dozen acquaintances reveals Trabucco’s similarities to his FTX and Alameda peers. However, they differed in important aspects as well.
On the one hand, Trabucco and the other principals displayed immense mathematical talent as children and attended prestigious schools. Long before working together, Trabucco, Bankman-Fried, Wang, and Ellison crossed paths in competitive math circles.
But Bankman-Fried and some of his lieutenants were also followers of “effective altruism.” This is a philanthropic movement that encourages successful people to use their wealth to do the best they can. Trabucco, on the other hand, had more classical motives. Crypto was how he made a lot of money.
Trabucco grew up in Natick and attended Roxbury Latin School, a private boys’ high school. The son of a campus police officer and preschool teacher at Wellesley College, he said in his video interview that he was “one of those math kids” who likes solving puzzles more than playing outside. I said yes.
He participated in math competitions and even played against Ellison, who attended Newton North High School. For two summers he attended his Mathcamp. This is his carefully selected five-week program aimed at exposing high school students to advanced mathematics concepts.
At Mathcamp, Trabucco met Wang in 2008 and first met Bankman-Fried there the summer before the two were sophomores, when the program was held at Mount Holyoke College in 2010.
“When I realized I was good at math, even when I was like, ‘Oh, I can win a math competition,’ it really got me hooked,” Trabucco said on a podcast. “I’ve almost lost most of the other skills I could have developed in my life.”
He studied mathematics and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wan was in the same class, with Bankman he was a year ahead of him. Bankman-Fried he graduated in 2014 and Trabucco and Wang he graduated in 2015.
After college, Trabucco, Bankman-Fried, and Ellison, who earned degrees in mathematics from Stanford University, worked for quantitative trading firms.Trabucco moved to Philadelphia I joined the Susquehanna International Group and did an internship during my junior year.
“Graduates from popular mathematics programs, including Mathcamp, often end up in finance and lucrative careers,” said Daniel Zaharopol, chairman of Mathcamp’s board of directors.
Then Krypto caught his eye. Trabucco started trading cryptocurrencies with his own money, An arbitrage trading opportunity to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on different markets and profit from the price difference.
Trabucco admitted that he “didn’t have strong opinions about the technology or whether cryptocurrencies made sense.” For him it was about the opportunity to get rich.
“I really just… thought it was irresponsible not to focus. [crypto] More than anything I knew when I could make more money doing it,” he said in the video. 2021 interview.
Trabucco left Susquehanna in 2017 and moved to San Francisco. Bankman-Fried started his Alameda Research that year, and at one point the two of him had dinner and Trabucco joined the firm as a trader.
One former Alameda employee said Trabucco was “generally reserved, but he felt comfortable in the office.” They said he is passionate about trading, numbers, trivia, crosswords his puzzles and more. (Some of his submitted puzzles were published in the New York Times.)
“Some of us got together and tried to solve his crossword puzzle,” the former employee wrote in a message to The Globe.
Mathematics was a big part of Alameda’s work culture. Traders have tried to evaluate the ‘expected value’ of different scenarios and have chosen the scenario that yields the most favorable outcome, no matter how high the risk.
But some Alameda and FTX leaders had another big idea on their minds. Effective altruism. In their world, it meant using evidence and reasoning to figure out how best to help people. Bankman-Fried professed to donate most of his fortune to charitable causes that benefit humanity. Ellison wrote on his now-deleted Tumblr blog: … Making the future look the way you want it to seem like the only worthwhile goal. ”
Effective altruism means, for example, providing medicines to developing countries where a particular disease is endemic, or donating only to organizations with a proven track record of making positive social change.
No matter how you look at it, Trabucco wasn’t interested. Effective altruism philosophy, did not participate in it. He started cryptocurrency to make money for himself. And he certainly did.
In 2020, he purchased a four-bedroom home in Wells, Maine. $500,000, apparently where his parents now live. The following year, he purchased his 3,800-square-foot luxury condominium in San Francisco with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. at about $9 million. Trabucco said he also purchased a 52 foot boat, which he named “Soak My Deck”.
A former Alameda employee said Trabucco didn’t seem to be in Bankman-Fried’s inner circle, which included Ellison, Wang, and former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh. The group also started his FTX Future Fund, the now-closed philanthropic arm of his FTX., No Trabuco.
“I believe these four shared items that were not shared with Trabucco are shared with each other,” the former employee wrote in Globe.
Nonetheless, Trabucco and Ellison Promoted from Trader to Co-CEO of Alameda in Fall 2021. Both lived in Hong Kong, where Alameda relocated, and Bankman also worked with Freed and his FTX home Bahamas.
Trabucco and Ellison have publicly stated that FTX and Alameda operate as separate companies, although both were owned by Bankman-Fried.
“To be clear, I work for Alameda, not FTX,” Trabucco said in a video interview weeks before his promotion. .”
But prosecutors said Alameda was given special privileges on the FTX exchange, allowing him to borrow “virtually unlimited” amounts of money, among other benefits. Investigators have accused Alameda of using billions of dollars in customer funds from FTX to pay off its own loans to other lenders and lend money to executives.
Ellison admitted at her plea hearing that she knew about the arrangement and helped facilitate it.
During his final months as co-CEO, Trabucco surrounded himself with friends and traveled.
In the spring of 2022, a former MIT classmate visited him in the Bahamas. In July, he went to Las Vegas on MIT’s Mega-Pi, a reunion that took place 3.14 years after graduation and combined multiple classes. because of the pandemic.
October — two months after he resigned from Alameda — According to a friend’s Instagram account, Trabucco returned to the Bahamas for his 30th birthday and celebrated with a cake with his face printed on it.
That was a month before Alameda and FTX were in turmoil. and since the collapse Trabucco stays away from social media and does not speak publicly.
“A lot of love to everyone” Trabucco I have written In his last Twitter post on Nov. 8, when the FTX story began to unfold. “The last few days have been dark for many, but I hope the road ahead is bright.”
Anissa Gardizy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. follow her on her twitter @anissagardizy8 and on Instagram @anissagardizy.journalism.