Tag Archives: Sam Bankman-Fried

“Effective Altruism”: Could SBF’s Parents Be the Key to a Plea? By Jonathan Turley

All the political friends SBF thought he was buying with his donations are now scattering like cockroaches in a dirty kitchen when the light goes on. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Below is my column in the New York Post on the potential liability of the parents of Sam Bankman-Fried. It is not uncommon for federal prosecutors to go after family members to induce a plea by a defendant. In this case, the reported involvement of the parents in some of operations or payments magnifies that risk.

Here is the column:

As Sam Bankman-Fried faces an eight-count indictment for his alleged massive crypto-fraud, his case could take a sudden turn toward resolution. The prosecutors may have the ultimate inducement for a plea to dangle over Bankman-Fried — actually two: Bankman and Fried.

SBF, as he’s known, is not the only person at risk here, particularly with prosecutors making repeated references to unnamed “co-conspirators.” Two at risk could prove his parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried. While there’s no proof of criminal acts on their part, Bankman-Fried surprisingly involved his parents in aspects of his alleged fraudulent operation.

If so, the case could bring new meaning to the doctrine of in loco parentis, when people act “in place of a parent” or “instead of a parent.” Federal prosecutors are notorious for targeting family members as a quarry’s vulnerability; do they see such an opening in Bankman-Fried’s parents’ role in litigating this massive alleged fraud?

Both parents of SBF and his close associate and ex-girlfriend, Alameda Research head Caroline Ellison, 28, are professors at leading universities. Ellison’s parents are Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors; Bankman-Fried’s parents are Stanford Law professors. Both children are obviously bright, precocious “fac brats” who spoke of using investments for good deeds. Ellison has said she had only one job before moving over to Alameda and finding herself making huge decisions.

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Two Antithetical Billionaires, by Victor Davis Hanson

One billionaire has created solar technology, electric cars, and rockets. The other created a massive scam. You can tell a lot about people by which billionaire they think is more admirable. From Victor Davis Hanson at amgreatness.com:

The hatred of the accomplished Musk and the worship of the hollow man Bankman-Fried are sad commentaries on how liberalism has descended into progressivism and ultimately into Stalinism.

efore the midterm November elections, Sam Bankman-Fried was a left-wing billionaire heartthrob. 

He properly grew up on the Stanford campus, where his parents were well-known left-wing activist law professors. He went to a tony prep school and on to MIT. 

Bankman-Fried mocked society’s bourgeois capitalist conventions by dressing and looking like a slob in cut-offs and T-shirts.

Indeed, he bested the nose-ring, Charles Manson-esque appearance of former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. He outdid the all-black, Steve Jobs copy-cat get-up of another fallen leftist icon, the now-convicted felon Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos infamy.

The Left canonized Bankman-Fried for the hundreds of millions of dollars he created out of thin air and channeled to left-wing congressional and state candidates, Joe Biden, and a host of “progressive” causes under the cool slogan “effective altruism.” 

For decades hence—or so Bankman-Fried promised—his cryptocurrency company FTX would churn out billions. Its politically correct gifting won exemptions from the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Democratic-controlled congressional oversight committees.

The loud-talking, left-wing slob promised billions of dollars more in gifts to come. He was knighted as the successor to the kindred financial market manipulator and progressive “philanthropist” George Soros.

SBF may have been a sloppy, immature fool, but he was no dummy. 

He had learned early on that loud leftist talk, big promises of philanthropy, and huge cash infusions to the media and leftist candidates—all under the veneer of “effective altruism”— ensured de facto immunity for his Ponzi schemes from both bad press and government investigation. 

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The Justice Department Faces Questions After Effectively Preventing Bankman-Fried from Testifying in Congress, by Jonathan Turley

A competent prosecutor would let Sam Bankman-Fried just keep talking until he shut up. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

The arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried yesterday was sudden and unexpected in light of Bankman-Fried’s plan to testify before Congress. As a criminal defense attorney, my reaction to the arrest last night remains unchanged: this is the first time that I can recall where prosecutors moved aggressively to stop a defendant from making self-incriminating statements. His testimony would have been entirely admissible and likely devastating at trial.

I previously wrote how Bankman-Fried was doing harm to his case by speaking in the media and to Congress. So why would the Justice Department move to stop the self-inflicted damage? You have a major target who was about to voluntarily testify for hours.

That is ordinarily a dream for prosecutors, but the Justice Department moved quickly to prevent that from happening. At that stage, Bankman-Fried was not charged or in custody. He was not protected by Miranda or other constitutional rules from self-incriminating statements.

Indeed, some of us had already warned that he was causing himself considerable damage in making such statements. This was a defendant with a large legal team facing possible criminal charges who seemed eager to speak about his actions and motivations. Most prosecutors would sit back, make popcorn, and watch this unfold.

The curious move led many to question whether the Biden Administration was eager to prevent questions on Bankman-Fried’s political contributions and associations. He was the second highest donor to Democratic causes in the last election cycle.  His mother, a law professor at Stanford also heads a major Democratic campaign fund.

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“Risk Of Flight Too Great” – Bankman-Fried Denied Bail, Remanded To Custody, by Tyler Durden

SLL puts the over/under on SBF’s “suicide” in jail, a la Jeffrey Epstein, at January 31, 2023. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Update (1700ET): Following his arrest last night, with its expectations of an imminent deportation, Sam Bankman-Fried told a Bahamian judge at an arraignment Tuesday that he wouldn’t waive his right to an extradition hearing.

A defense lawyer said Bankman-Fried planned to fight being sent to the US.

Counsel for SBF has requested bail be set at $250,000.

Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams called the case “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history” and said the investigation of the alleged scheme is “very much ongoing.”

Which may explain why presiding judge JoyAnn Ferguson-Pratt denied SBF’s bail application, highlighting his “risk of flight” and ordered the crypto executive to be held in custody at the Bahamas Department of Corrections until Feb. 8.

The case has been adjourned to the said date.. 

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The Contagion: Fallout and Lessons from FTX and SBF, by Sam Hill

The third part of Sam Hill’s series on Sam Bankman-Fried and his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. Will there be any consequences for Democratic darling SBF? From Sam Hill at bombthrower.com:


This is the third and final part in our recap of the collapse of FTX. In the first two issues we covered what happened in the weeks leading up to the failure of the exchange and how Alameda Research and FTX became so entangled and fraudulent in the first place.

Today we’ll cover the contagion and fallout throughout the Crypto industry and some lessons learned by Crypto investors and industry insiders.

Leveraged Unwind

The Contagion that we are seeing from the failure of FTX is mainly an unwind of built up debt between Crypto companies. This is acting with a lag as a majority of companies with financial problems were already on the ropes from earlier in the year as a result of the collapse of Luna/Terraform labs and Three Arrows Capital.

The list of Crypto lenders that have so far filed for bankruptcy as a result of these earlier problems include Voyager, Celsius and BlockFi. Gemini’s yield program has halted withdrawals. Nexo has announced that they will exit US markets but have not yet announced financial problems.

If you haven’t already, you should strongly consider whether any of the yield generating accounts at Crypto companies are worth the risk.

 These failures are all a result of counterparties defaulting on loans. Essentially, Crypto hedge funds and other entities took on loans from these lenders during the bull market and have failed to repay this year. To compound this issue towards the end of 2021 and in early 2022 the Crypto lending space was so competitive that loan terms were extremely favorable.

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Everything That’s Wrong With the Mainstream Media and Finance in One Picture, by Nick Giambruno

The real story on Sam Bankman-Fried is the effort being made to excuse his crimes and get him off the hook. From Nick Giambruno at internationalman.com:


It’s hard to recall a more despicable and widespread public-relations effort to transform the image of an obvious villain.

Of course, I’m referring to the mainstream media’s treatment of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).

It’s reminiscent of the movie Batman Returns, where a corrupt media tries to polish the image of the repugnant criminal Oswald Cobblepot—better known as the Penguin.

SBF founded FTX in 2019. The company seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges in mere months.

How did this strange newcomer—who didn’t know much about Bitcoin—suddenly become the so-called “JP Morgan of Crypto?”

Powerful people in finance, the media, and the government all had a hand in FTX’s meteoric rise. So the company was clearly at the nexus of something important—though the whole picture is not exactly clear at this point.

Simply put, FTX was a cesspool.

The company allegedly mishandled customer deposits, was involved in shady activities in Ukraine, sold Bitcoin it didn’t have, and had suspicious connections with prominent politicians and regulators.

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How to Save Your Skin, According to Bankman-Fried and Fauci, by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker has performed a miracle. He has taken two stomach-churning people and their skullduggery and made them funny. From Tucker at brownstone.org:

We are being gifted with a series of extremely impressive displays of accountability avoidance. They have been virtuosic acts, ones for the history books. I speak of the strange rhetorical symmetry between Anthony Fauci and Sam Bankman-Fried and their responses under questioning for bad actions that no one denies except themselves.

I’ve watched what feels like a hundred hours of interviews and read transcripts of many more. They are enormously frustrating. They both specialize in justifying the small things while systematically overlooking the big picture for which they are wholly responsible. They speak in a passive voice about mistakes made but bounce off that quickly to fob off the blame for the results on everyone but themselves.

What appears below is a kind of composite of them both. It’s written as farce but an oddly realistic one.

Let’s say that a person named Sam Fauci-Fried has been accused of two crimes: theft of socks from WalMart and forcibly preventing children from attending school.

Here is Sam under questioning.

* * * * *

“Did you or did you not steal socks from WalMart?”

“It’s an excellent question, and thank you for asking it. So, as I think back on the events under consideration here, we need first to understand the circumstances in which there are many pairs of socks, far more than were being sold, and also a genuine opportunity for a broader and frankly more socially aware distribution of foot covering through the community. This is where we and many others in our enterprise got involved.”

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The Rise and Fall of FTX (Part 2 of 3), by Scott Hill

Here’s further analysis of the FTX travesty, from Scott Hill at bombthrower.com:

Last week we covered the collapse of FTX as it happened but there’s a lot more to the story. How did FTX grow from a tiny Hong Kong bucket shop into a top three Crypto exchange over the course of just a few years? What was Alameda research and were they ever legitimate? Most importantly, how exactly does an exchange lose track of up to $10 billion worth of customer deposits?

Most of this material is still an educated guess, but the guessers are out there putting together clues from private discussions which have been leaked, the bankruptcy proceedings and first hand dealings shared on Crypto Twitter.

It’s worth noting that there is a whole deep state angle to this story.

I won’t go into it in this article because so little is known (see endnote – ed.)

What we do know is mostly confined to the fact that FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was the second largest donor to Democrat political campaigns since 2019. His Co-CEO for part of the FTX Empire, Ryan Salame, was a top 10 donor to the Republican party in the same period.

Sam Bankman-Fried met with SEC Chairman Gary Gensler seeking a “no action” letter on an enforcement matter in April, shortly before SBF began pushing the DCCPA, a bill which the Crypto industry mainly saw as a subtle crackdown on DeFi wrapped in a reasonable sounding regulatory framework.

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Why Isn’t Sam Bankman-Fried In Handcuffs Yet? By Quoth the Raven

Elizabeth Holmes crimes are a traffic ticket compared to what Sam Bankman-Fried has allegedly done, but she’s going to the slammer for 11 years and he roams free. From Quoth the Raven at quoththeraven,substack.com:

For a party that seems to absolutely loathe billionaires, Democrats and their friends in the media sure are taking it soft on Bankman-Fried.

To be honest, it’s kind of hard to try and entertain the innuendo and rumors that Democrats and the media are working to do damage control on behalf of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, because the idea is just so reprehensible.

But they sure do keep giving us ammunition to make that suggestion, don’t they?

Bankman-Fried and House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters

Bankman-Fried – the second biggest donor to Democrats behind George Soros – has all but admitted that he squandered billions of dollars of other people’s money carelessly, writing “I fucked up” on Twitter in a mea culpa about two weeks ago, days after a run on his exchange exposed it to be a shell of what many perceived it to be.

Institutional investors in FTX have written their stakes in the firm to $0.

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The Strange Morality of the Bay-Area Billionaire Left, by Victor Davis Hanson

And these people think they should be ruling us. From Victor Davis Hanson at amgreatness.com:

Sam Bankman-Fried is the ultimate dangerous and ridiculous expression of the most toxic and creepy culture in America.
If he did not exist, he would have to be invented.

a. Hehe. I had to be. It’s what reputations are made of, to some extent. I feel bad for those guys who get f—ed by it, by this dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shibboleths and so everyone likes us.” —Sam Bankman-Fried

The FTX Bitcoin empire of 30-year-old CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is in shambles. Or more specifically, his “dumb game” cryptocurrency exchange has destroyed thousands of lives. Electronically, he may have robbed perhaps a million investors, and along with them hundreds of large institutional investors.

Mysteriously, only after the conclusion of the midterm elections, did we suddenly learn that this left-wing “philanthropist” and benefactor of Democratic politics, this megadonor to the quid pro quo puff-piece media, this con artist protected from federal securities regulators, had drained off, lost, hidden, or spent billions of dollars of other people’s money.

As a result, the Bahamas-basking, tax-avoiding, polyamorous sybarite, and heartthrob of progressive moralists, now claims he has no wherewithal to honor his financial commitments to his own investors. Preliminary postmortem auditors sigh that they have never encountered a greater financial mess than what Bankman-Fried has left in his wake.

How does the most sophisticated financial system in the history of civilization allow a virtue-signaling nerd to nearly wreck it? Where were the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, the IRS, and all the other alphabet soup agencies that supposedly exist so that someone like Bankman-Fried does not? Where is Merrick Garland and his special prosecutors, the FBI with its televised SWAT swoops and leg irons?

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