It hasn’t been a great year for Caroline Ellison. In just 12 months, the former Alameda Research CEO lost her crypto empire, pled guilty to seven federal counts of fraud and conspiracy, and testified publicly—in excruciating detail—against her one-time lover and former boss, FTX co-founder and ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
Now, as the one-year anniversary of FTX and Alameda’s seismic collapse nears, eager Reddit users have discovered a resurfaced clip of the hit children’s television show “Arthur” that appears to feature an eight-year-old Ellison. The response, predictably, has been ruthless.
The clip, which reportedly dates from 2003, shows a short-haired, bespectacled elementary schooler named Caroline introducing audience members to Maria L. Baldwin School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where students are discussing their favorite scary stories. Ellison, who appears to resemble the young child, lived in the area at the time, and would have been starting fourth grade when the segment aired.
Over the weekend, members of the notorious Reddit page Wall Street Bets delighted in unpacking the video, which originally surfaced in April—tying the young girl’s thoughts on spooky tales and fear to Ellison’s eventual role in the FTX saga.
“‘Hi, my name is Caroline and today we are going to talk about scary stories….. Oooooooohoooo….,” one Redditor wrote. “Today’s scary story has to do with the SEC investigation into FTX!’”
In the “Arthur” clip, eight-year-old Caroline describes how, if ever she reads a story so scary that it prevents her from falling asleep, she pushes such ideas out of her mind by trying to “think about something else… [to] think about something really happy.”
“When thinking about the billions in fraud, just think about something nice instead, got it,” one Redditor replied.
Many other Wall Street Bets commenters seized on the appearance of the eight-year-old child, whose short, curly hairdo appeared, to them, as a dead ringer for what would later become Bankman-Fried’s own signature, unkempt hairstyle.
“The ultimate narcissist, falls in love with what is basically his clone,” one Reddit comment read, in reference to Bankman-Fried.
Decrypt reached out to representatives for Ellison and the “Arthur” TV show, but did not immediately hear back from either.
Though Ellison has never publicly commented on the “Arthur” clip or confirmed her involvement with the show—she likely has other things on her mind, such as whether she’s about to go to federal prison for the next 110 years—a blog connected to the disgraced crypto executive has plenty to say on the subject of elementary school.
In a long-running Tumblr blog previously linked by Decrypt to Ellison, the author fumes about their elementary school experience, and repeatedly expresses the feeling that their childhood education suffered at the expense of racial diversity.
“I started elementary school in a very diverse school district. By third grade, the top 10 kids in my grade had all left because it was clear the teachers didn’t care about teaching us…” the account wrote. “If you sacrifice the high-achieving kids on the altar of closing the achievement gap they will opt out of your educational system” [emphasis theirs].
At another point, the Ellison-linked account bemoans the fact that the author reportedly never learned essential math skills in elementary school, and learned too much about other subjects.
“In the course of going to four different elementary schools in six years, I managed to learn about Native Americans in social studies for three years in a row, while never learning long division,” the account wrote in 2016.
In the immediate aftermath of FTX’s collapse last November, a viral clip of Ellison began circulating, in which the then-crypto mogul bragged that she mainly relied on “elementary school math” in her job. Weeks later, Ellison would go on to confess to federal prosecutors that she facilitated the theft of billions of dollars worth of funds from FTX customer accounts to keep crypto trading firm Alameda afloat.
This explains a lot about what happened at Alameda under CEO Caroline Ellison, as well as her alleged $1.3B margin deficit at FTX.
“Use very little math. Use a lot of elementary school math.”
“We tend not to have things like stop losses.” https://t.co/OupUvHH8hw pic.twitter.com/1UN6DRAlGZ
— Markets & Mayhem (@Mayhem4Markets) December 6, 2022
Elementary school is not the only frontier on which the Ellison-linked Tumblr blog discussed matters such as race and diversity. The blog’s author repeatedly showcased an interest in the discredited fields of race science and eugenics, which, once favored by Nazis, have more recently been endorsed by members of the alt-right.
Edited by Andrew Hayward