Crypto billionaire Bankman-Fried to be returned to court

Crypto billionaire Bankman-Fried to be returned to court

Tomorrow afternoon, US marshals will transport Sam Bankman-Fried to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Brooklyn inmate, to the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

The immediate agenda entails appointing jury members to sit in judgement of the onetime crypto billionaire, charged with multiple counts of fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance offences in connection with the failure of the exchange FTX last November.

Crypto, which has been in the docks for about six weeks, may be in the docks along with Bankman-Fried, who has pleaded not guilty.

FTX, which is worth $32 billion at its peak, has become a symbol of the lawlessness associated with the digital assets market. And with his slob chic vibe and commitment to 'effective altruism,' the 31-year-old entrepreneur has come to epitomise crypto for many in the mainstream.

By shifting billions of dollars worth of FTX deposits to cover losses in his hedge fund, prosecutors said Bankman-Fried violated one of the bedrock laws in finance - never tap customer deposits to juice your own trading book.

Prosecutors are expected to try and prove that is exactly what Bankman-Fried did, bolstered by testimony from several of Bankman-Fried's former associates, including his ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison.

The case has confirmed the suspicions of crypto critics that the industry is a ripe for Ponzi schemes and thievery, and emboldened watchdogs like Gary Gensler, the chair of the US SEC, are preparing to shut down with a flurry of civil actions.

While Bitcoin has rallied 60% since FTX filed for bankruptcy last November 11, its trading volume has nosedived - in August, it dropped to a five-year low. The days when BTC attracted mainstream investors appear to be over, at least for now.

The market is still experiencing a decline in decentralised finance, which has not been displaced by the market's unpredictability. The deposits, or total value locked, of the industry is still about a quarter less than before FTX's downfall, at $38.7 billion.

If Bankman-Fried did nothing more, he appears to have proven yet again that if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. This is unfortunate given the amount of doing good that Bankman-Fried vowed to do.

In 2022, Bankman-Fried was running his own FTX-Alameda empire from a $30 million penthouse in the Bahamas. He surrounded himself with colleagues who shared the luxurious work-living space in the tropics.

Bankman-Fried charmed celebrities like star quarterback Tom Brady and his former wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who were energetic - and well compensated - spokespersons for FTX. He found Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of The Big Short and Moneyball, as his biographer.

Lewis said on the BBC that he watched in amazement as the'most famous people in the world' would gather around the rumpled entrepreneur when he spoke. The young tycoon was known simply by his initials - SBF.

Bankman-Fried, a maths wunderkind who graduated from MIT, said cryptocurrencies were simply a springboard to amassing enough wealth to tackle epochal challenges like pandemics and artificial intelligence. He chose effective altruism, EA, a philosophy and social movement designed to maximize impact for the common good.

Academics and intellectuals flew into the Bahamas to talk with Bankman-Fried and his Compatriots at FTX's zenith. DL News spoke to several individuals who were privy to these discussions.

The interest in genetics boiled down to a readiness to use gene editing to increase would-be parents' chances of having kids who are happy, healthy, and smart.

'' You can have guilt-free meat, so you can have guilt-free meat, '' said the person, who asked for anonymity as a condition of talking about dealings with Bankman-Fried.

However, interest did not translate into action. t have thought it is worth their time or money to actually do much on it, said Bankman-Fried.

The Future Fund was known as FTX's philanthropic arm, bringing $100 million to efforts in pandemic prevention, addressing the risks of AI, and other futuristic projects.

And Bankman-Fried said he would be going to build a 'vaccine factory' in the Bahamas to address what he deemed an overly slow approval process by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The projects were designed to safeguard the future of humanity and were in line with EA's thinking.

Another source familiar with Bankman-Fried's work lamented that his alleged misdeeds tarnished the EA.

But the money wasn't his, prosecutors said. In August, the Justice Department accused FTX of using funds deposited by FTX customers to make $100 million in political campaign contributions in the run-up to the midterm elections in November.

prosecutors said that ''s profile, and curry favour with candidates,'' were inked into a remonstration in an updated indictment that month.

Bankman-Fried will be the latest in a long series of bold-faced names who have faced justice in the federal court on Foley Square in downtown Manhattan.

Bernie Madoff, Ghislaine Maxwell, and Martha Stewart each passed through here on their way to guilty pleas or jury verdicts. If Bankman-Fried takes his turn, the media spotlight will be just as hot.

As he does so, Bankman-Fried, who has been incarcerated for two months after violating the terms of his bail, faces the possibility he may not live outside the walls of criminal institutions for long periods of time.

If convicted, Trump faces a possible 20-year prison sentence for each of his major indictment.