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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke November 16, 2022

No, FTX CEO isn’t the Security and Exchange Commission chair’s daughter

If Your Time is short

  • Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has three daughters. None of them are the former or current CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

A swirl of online rumors has followed bankruptcy filings by FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange. We’ve already debunked a claim that federal aid for Ukraine was laundered by FTX to help Democrats in the midterm elections. Now we’re looking at another claim that suggests cozy ties between the company and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

"FUN FACT," a Nov. 15 Instagram post said. "The CEO of FTX is the daughter of the chairman of the SEC!" 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded FTX in 2019, resigned as chief executive officer Nov. 11, and the company issued a press release saying John J. Ray III had been named to replace him.

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Gary Gensler is the SEC’s chair, having been nominated by President Joe Biden in February 2021 and sworn into office in April of that year. He has three daughters: Anna, Lee and Isabel. We found no evidence that any of them are affiliated with FTX.

Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency trading company that Bankman-Fried also founded, also filed for bankruptcy, along with approximately 130 additional affiliated companies under an "FTX Group" umbrella according to the FTX press release. The CEO of Alameda Research is Caroline Ellison, who some blog posts and news and tabloid reports have tied to Gensler via his professional relationship with Ellison’s father, an MIT professor.  

But claims that Gensler’s daughter is the CEO of FTX — or even Alameda Research — are False.


Our Sources

Instagram post, Nov. 15, 2022

FTX tweet, Nov. 11, 2022

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Chair Gary Gensler, visited Nov. 16, 2022

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Statement of Gary Gensler, nominee for undersecretary (domestic finance) Senate Finance Committee, Jan. 20, 1999

Gawker, Are these Caroline Ellison’s Tumblrs?, Nov. 14, 2022

The U.S. Sun, MAGIC MONEY What is Caroline Ellison’s net worth?, Nov. 16, 2022

The New York Times, How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire Collapsed, Nov. 14, 2022

PolitiFact, FTX helped with a cryptocurrency fundraising site, but there’s no connection to U.S. aid to Ukraine, Nov. 15, 2022

Reuters, Alameda, FTX executives knew crypto exchange was using customer funds - WSJ, Nov. 12, 2022

Time, The Money Cop, Dec. 24, 2012 

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No, FTX CEO isn’t the Security and Exchange Commission chair’s daughter

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