The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, ex-CEO of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has uncovered startling insights into his high-profile connections. Bankman-Fried is under scrutiny for alleged fraud, a development following FTX’s sudden bankruptcy in November 2022.
FBI agent Richard Busick has played a crucial role in unearthing the depth of Bankman-Fried’s interactions with global power players. Analysis of his mobile phone records and email correspondences from mid-2021 to late 2022 reveals a trail of meetings with several influential figures.
One notable interaction was with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, documented at a Hilton hotel in New York on September 20. Additionally, Bankman-Fried’s calendar suggests a likely rendezvous with New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul at what sources believe to be the Capital Grille, though an official confirmation is pending.
The intrigue doesn’t end there. Records also allude to encounters with prominent Saudi personalities, namely Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, the overseer of Saudi Aramco, and Khalid A. Al-Falih, the kingdom’s investment minister, within days of his other high-stakes meetings. An earlier exchange in March with NYC’s Mayor Eric Adams further thickens the plot.
These findings align with accounts from Bankman-Fried’s former colleagues at FTX, including its ex-head of Engineering, Nishad Singh. Their testimonies delve into attempts at political maneuvering through strategic donations, a theme prominently featured in Michael Lewis’ latest work, “Going Infinite.”
The unraveling of FTX commenced with the liquidity crunch in November 2022, culminating in a bankruptcy declaration on the 11th of that month. The situation escalated in December when the U.S. authorities charged Bankman-Fried with fraud. His subsequent detention in the Bahamas led to extradition to the U.S. Compounding the drama, several former FTX and Alameda Research executives, such as Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, have since admitted to fraud. Their confessions are forming the basis of the ongoing legal battle against Bankman-Fried.