Who are Caroline Ellison’s parents? Their views on the FTX scandal

Caroline Ellison

Caroline Ellison is facing up to 110 years in prison after pleading guilty to various charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Ellison has waived any defense to the charges and agreed to pay restitution as determined by the courts. 

The plea deal obligates Ellison to cooperate with prosecutors and law enforcement agencies. Ellison was the CEO of Alameda Research, FTX’s trading firm, and was Sam Bankman-Fried’s occasional paramour. Ellison’s plea deal, alongside a similar deal signed by FTX cofounder Gary Wang, places pressure on Sam Bankman-Fried, who insists FTX didn’t commit crimes intentionally. 

Caroline Ellison’s parents are celebrated economists at MIT

Caroline Ellison's parents
Glenn Ellison and Sara Fisher | MIT Economics

Caroline Ellison was born in November 1994 to Sara Fisher and Glenn Ellison. She grew up alongside two younger sisters, Anna and Kate. 

In July 2020, Ellison revealed on the FTX Podcast that she was so obsessed with Harry Potter as a child that she didn’t wait for her parents to read her the book. She explained:

“I was pretty obsessed with Harry Potter as a kid. I started, I was 3 when the first book came out, my parents read it aloud to me, and when I was 5, the second book came out, I refused to wait for my parents to read it, so I read it myself.”

Glenn and Sara Fisher are Professors of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ellison attended Harvard College and Cambridge University before receiving his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT. 

He had a brief stint as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Glenn moved to MIT in 1994 and currently serves as the head of the Department of Economics. 

Like Glenn, Sara Fisher has spent most of her career at MIT, where she works as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics. She’s held visiting positions at Princeton, the Paris School of Economics, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Center for Economic Studies in Munich, among others. 

Fisher has performed extensive research in the pharmaceutical industry and e-commerce. Her bio on the MIT Economics page reads:

“She and her coauthor Glenn Ellison have found evidence that Internet technologies, once believed to primarily aid consumers by making price search much easier, can actually serve the interests of retailers as well, by making age-old obfuscation strategies easier and cheaper to implement.”

Glenn and Sara Fisher have refused to comment on Caroline’s predicament

Glenn and Sara Fisher have distanced themselves from the FTX scandal, refusing to contribute to news reports about their daughter. For instance, they declined to comment on a Boston Globe profile about Caroline. 

“We’re busy right now,” Sara told New York Post reporters when asked whether Caroline would testify against Sam Bankman-Fried.