‘Depressed’: FTX’s Bankman-Fried faces the music, but what about Democrats he funded?

by WorldTribune Staff, December 15, 2022

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of FTX, has been denied bail as he fights extradition to the United States after being charged with one of the “biggest financial frauds in American history.”

The 30-year-old Bankman-Fried protested, telling Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt he couldn’t go to jail because he is vegan and “depressed.”

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is led by officers of the Royal Bahamas Police force following his arrest. / AFP / Getty Images

In asking for SBF to be held without bail, prosecutors claimed he hid $300 million in a Brazilian fund in September, months before the collapse of his crypto empire, as a means of setting himself up for an escape when the inevitable collapse happened.

SBF was eventually marched out of court in the Bahamas after the judge denied him bail and remanded him to the medical unit of HMP Fox Hill, where he’ll be jailed until Feb. 8, 2023.

Bankman-Fried faces 155 years in prison on eight counts of money laundering and fraud. U.S. prosecutors say he used the crypto platform as a “personal piggy bank” to fund a lavish lifestyle and make whopping political donations.

Will those tens of millions in political donations, along with the funds he doled out law firms and media outlets, enable SBF to skirt any real consequences?

“Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Gary Gensler was busy rubbing elbows with SBF and negotiating a regulatory scheme whose blueprint originated at FTX headquarters, while most of the country’s major law firms, investing services, media companies, and politicians were on the crypto payroll,” the editors at the Washington Free Beacon pointed out.

According to Fortune, “30-year-old Bankman-Fried has been a major force in Democratic politics, ranking as the party’s second-biggest individual donor in the 2021–2022 election cycle.”

His donations totaled a documented $39.8 million.

What are the consequences for those politicians who accepted illegal donations from Bankman-Fried making him one of the most influential figures in American politics?

The Constitutional Rights PAC is demanding that those donations be returned to FTX victims on an Internet page featuring photos of not only Democrats Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer but also Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy.

SBF was the largest contributor to the Biden campaign and of the Protect Our Future Pac, “the political action committee which endorsed Democratic candidates such as Peter Welch, who won his bid to become Vermont’s next senator, and Robert J. Menendez of New Jersey, who secured a House seat.”

Bankman-Fried has hired Mark S. Cohen, who recently defended Ghislaine Maxwell in her sex trafficking trial, as his defense attorney. Cohen is also a former assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Federal prosecutors said Bankman-Fried devised “a scheme and artifice to defraud” FTX’s customers and investors beginning in 2019, the year it was founded. He illegally diverted their money to cover expenses, debts and risky trades at the crypto hedge fund he started in 2017, Alameda Research, and to make lavish real estate purchases and large political donations, prosecutors said in a 13-page indictment.

Bankman-Fried was previously one of the world’s wealthiest people on paper; at one point his net worth reached $26.5 billion, according to Forbes.

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