Author Topic: FTX Assets Frozen By Bahamas Regulator, Liquidator Appointed, Arrest Rumored  (Read 1746 times)

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Offline enslaved1

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Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Fraud, Conspiracy Charges
https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2023/01/03/sam-bankman-fried-pleads-not-guilty-to-fraud-conspiracy-charges/

Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty.

Does anyone ever plead guilty anymore?  Especially in financial crimes, it seems hope for lesser charges/mistrial/plea deal/whatever springs eternal. 
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Offline Eupher

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Does anyone ever plead guilty anymore?  Especially in financial crimes, it seems hope for lesser charges/mistrial/plea deal/whatever springs eternal.

I think most of the time the lawyers on both sides want to cut a deal. They want the perp to plead guilty or no contest or whatever flavor of the month they have in exchange for reduced charges. Depending on the situation, charging the perp one or more felonies unless he pleads guilty to a couple of lesser charges.

Those lawyers don't want to go to trial unless they have to. It's too much work.  :whatever:
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Offline Texacon

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I think most of the time the lawyers on both sides want to cut a deal. They want the perp to plead guilty or no contest or whatever flavor of the month they have in exchange for reduced charges. Depending on the situation, charging the perp one or more felonies unless he pleads guilty to a couple of lesser charges.

Those lawyers don't want to go to trial unless they have to. It's too much work.  :whatever:


Not to mention both sides get to claim a 'victory' for their resumes.

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Offline Ptarmigan

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Does anyone ever plead guilty anymore?  Especially in financial crimes, it seems hope for lesser charges/mistrial/plea deal/whatever springs eternal. 

On that topic.

Bernie Madoff went to jail to avoid mob hit: new Netflix docuseries
https://nypost.com/2023/01/03/netflix-docuseries-madoff-the-monster-of-wall-street-out-wednesday/

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The day in December 2008 when FBI agents put Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff in cuffs will be remembered for generations — and not just by the people who lost everything.

The numbers were staggering. A whopping $19 billion, all gone, stolen from more than 40,000 investors — the New York Mets, Larry King, Kevin Bacon, hospitals, colleges, pension funds — over more than two decades.

Now, a new Netflix docuseries tells the rest of the story. According to Joe Berlinger, director of the four-part “Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street,” out Wednesday, Madoff had also been managing “a significant chunk” of money for international organized crime,

That’s why the New York native, who died in jail in 2021 at the age of 82, was so willing to take the rap, as well as the 150-year prison sentence that followed, Berlinger said. Madoff felt no remorse — his guilty plea was just one last selfish act. He was trying to stay alive.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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FTX lawyer tied to poker scandal reportedly flipped on Sam Bankman-Fried
https://nypost.com/2023/01/05/daniel-friedberg-flips-on-ftxs-sam-bankman-fried/

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Daniel Friedberg — the former FTX “chief regulatory officer” who was tied to a notorious online poker cheating scandal — has reportedly flipped on Sam Bankman-Fried and has been cooperating with the feds in the epic crypto fraud case.

Friedberg, a member of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle and key legal adviser at FTX, met with investigators on Nov. 22 and detailed how the disgraced founder used customer funds “to finance his business empire,” Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a source with knowledge of the matter.

The former FTX lawyer reportedly has also dished to the feds about his conversations with other top executives about the user of customer funds, as well as the inner workings of Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency hedge fund, Alameda Research.

Friedberg’s involvement at FTX triggered alarm bells after The Post and others reported the details of his behind-the-scenes work for UltimateBet – a defunct poker site that collapsed after executives were discovered to have used a software exploit dubbed “God mode” to bilk players out of tens of millions of dollars from 2005 through 2008.

Daniel Friedberg has turned on Sam Bankman-Fried.
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Offline DefiantSix

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On that topic.

Bernie Madoff went to jail to avoid mob hit: new Netflix docuseries
https://nypost.com/2023/01/03/netflix-docuseries-madoff-the-monster-of-wall-street-out-wednesday/

I call bullcrap, Netflix.

If any organization has consistently demonstrated time and again that the prison systems of the United States are their own, private hunting preserves, it would be the mafia. Either Netflix is pulling that little tidbit out of the place all DUmmies go to for their "facts", or Madoff is an honest to Dog legend in his own mind.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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FTX says it has recovered over $5B, but customer losses still unknown
https://nypost.com/2023/01/11/ftx-says-over-5b-recovered-but-customer-losses-unknown/

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Crypto exchange FTX has recovered more than $5 billion, but the extent of customer losses in its collapse is still unknown, an attorney for the bankrupt company founded by Sam Bankman-Fried said Wednesday.

The company, which was valued a year ago at $32 billion, filed for bankruptcy in November and US prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried of orchestrating an “epic” fraud that may have cost investors, customers and lenders billions of dollars.

“We have located over $5 billion of cash, liquid cryptocurrency and liquid investment securities,” Andy Dietderich, an attorney for FTX, told a US bankruptcy judge John Dorsey in Delaware at the start of Wednesday’s hearing.

Dietderich also said that the company plans to sell non-strategic investments that had a book value of $4.6 billion.

The tip of the iceberg.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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Sam Bankman-Fried Blogs Like a Crypto Robin Hood, but in Court He's Not So Charitable
https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2023/01/12/sam-bankman-fried-blogs-like-a-robin-hood-but-in-court-hes-not-so-charitable/

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s surprise Substack post Thursday included these charitable lines: “Nearly all of my assets were and still are utilizable to backstop FTX customers,” he wrote. “I have, for instance, offered to contribute nearly all of my personal shares in Robinhood to customers.”

It sounds like the British folk hero and outlaw of the same name, Robin Hood, who stole from the rich to give to the poor. As Bankman-Fried tells it on Substack, FTX users can have the stake in trading app Robinhood – worth about $450 million, though now seized by the U.S. Department of Justice – that he bought. A nice gesture, surely, as their money remains locked up.

But the swashbuckling hero’s tale is darker in court. In a Jan. 5 document filed with the Delaware bankruptcy court, Bankman-Fried resisted an attempt to transfer the 56 million Robinhood Markets (HOOD) shares to the estate of FTX – arguing both that he needed the funds to pay for his criminal defense and that FTX couldn’t prove he'd acquired the stock fraudulently.

Built on lies.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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FTX reports $415 mln in hacked crypto, Bankman-Fried says FTX US is solvent
https://www.reuters.com/technology/ftx-says-415-million-crypto-was-hacked-2023-01-17/

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Jan 17 (Reuters) - Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX said in a report to creditors on Tuesday that about $415 million in cryptocurrency had been stolen in hacks.

FTX has said it had recovered over $5 billion in crypto, cash and liquid securities, but that significant shortfalls remained at both its international and U.S. crypto exchanges. FTX attributed some of the shortfall to hacks, saying that $323 million in crypto had been hacked from FTX's international exchange and $90 million had been hacked from its U.S. exchange since it filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11.

Indicted founder Sam Bankman-Fried later challenged aspects of the company's report in a blog post.

There is likely billions hidden.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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How Social Media Influencers Fed Bankman-Fried's Cult of Personality
https://www.coindesk.com/consensus-magazine/2023/01/18/how-social-media-influencers-fed-bankman-frieds-cult-of-personality/

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Did you know many of the biggest financial and money YouTubers who promoted FTX worked with the same talent agency?

As we witness the collateral damage caused by FTX unfold and the federal criminal charges against the crypto exchange’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried stack up, many are asking how so many
people fell for this Ponzi-like scam. As with any "successful" financial scheme, FTX was a confidence game – and the game only works if the "players" are duped into thinking things are safe.

Enter FTX’s promoters and pumpers.

Celebrities including centi-millionaire financier Kevin O'Leary, football star Tom Brady and basketball stars Steph Curry and Shaquille O'Neal all attached their images to FTX. Larry David played a crypto-skeptical curmudgeon in a much applauded FTX Super Bowl ad last year. Many of these well-known names are now facing a class-action lawsuit.

As actor Ben McKenzie has repeatedly said about his peers who used their fame to advertise for crypto projects, if you convince someone to buy into a Ponzi scheme, you’ve participated in a Ponzi scheme. Selling a cryptocurrency called “ethereumMAX” is not the same as posing for Pepsi Max photoshoots.

However, there is another group of people who need pointing out: social media influencers. In an age of bifurcated attention, where people are more likely to be watching YouTube than network television, micro-celebrities can have an outsized influence on their audience. That’s part of the reason FTX sponsored so many so-called creators, especially on YouTube.

Many of the most famous finance and money social media influencers were collaborating to push FTX, working under the same umbrella of the little-known social influencer company called Creators Agency. And yes, I do mean collaborating.

Creators Agency was founded by Apple Crider, Erika Kullberg and Eric Kullberg. Apple and Erika met at FinCon – a place where financial YouTubers congregate and learn how to recruit people to the products they hawk. Or as the event's tagline states, FinCon is "where money and media meet." According to Apple, Creators Agency are creators' "partners in crime," helping them with whatever they need, Erika said. It offers talent management services and claims to help creators go viral.

Celebrities and social media influences were at it pushing FTX. They worked for the same talent agency, Creators Agency. They got paid by Sam Bankman-Fried.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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FTX scandal rocks Florida school district; victims may include high school teens
https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/ftx-scandal-rocks-florida-school-district-victims-may-include-high-school-teens

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As prosecutors and FTX's bankruptcy trustee comb through the wreckage of Sam Bankman-Fried’s ill-fated crypto empire, many questions remain unanswered.

Among the biggest: How did the man known and respected in the crypto industry as "SBF" commit what government officials believe was a multiyear fraud? Who else aided and abetted in the alleged scheme, where billions of dollars in customer money from his FTX exchange were looted to cover losses from an affiliated hedge fund?

Finally, and maybe most confounding to those who know Bankman-Fried: How could someone so seemingly virtuous, making heaps of money and giving lots of it away to dozens of charitable organizations, pull off what appears to be one of the most egregious financial crimes of the century?

The mystery of how Bankman-Fried went from saint to sinner may never be fully answered, of course. But it continues to stun people in places where you might expect it to, including his colleagues in the crypto industry who tell FOX Business they had no idea that FTX was built on a house of cards and run by an alleged crook.

FTX even affected high schools in Florida.

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Some unlikely people and places are also grappling with what seems to be the dual realities of Bankman-Fried. It's hard to imagine that the school district of Broward County, Florida, would be mired in the controversy surrounding the FTX implosion. Yet the district and students who were on the receiving end of SBF's charitable efforts find themselves in the middle of the mess — and possibly in the crosshairs of FTX's bankruptcy trustee John Ray III, FOX Business has learned.

Broward County and its involvement with the SBF ecosystem at first seems insignificant to the magnitude of the alleged fraud and shock waves it has sent throughout the $1 trillion crypto industry. As much as $8 billion of customer money missing from supposedly safe accounts, used to finance unrelated activities, makes the fraud one of the biggest since Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme more than 20 years ago. The notion that a key figure in crypto looted billions of dollars in purportedly safe client money added more uncertainty to a market that has lost half of its value since 2021.

The FTX collapse will certainly drive more regulation that could crush digital asset values further. SBF, for his part, has been arrested and charged with eight counts of fraud and faces up to 115 years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

Some knew something was not right.

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The hackathon has also become an increasingly ugly political issue in Broward County. Red Broward, a local conservative-leaning blog, has detailed the SBF connections to the hackathon as part of the continued dysfunction in the leadership of the Broward County school district, which has seen its share of state-mandated turnover for alleged ethical lapses.

Last week at a public board meeting, Chris Nelson, a local conservative political activist who refers to himself as an independent journalist, directly confronted Hixon.

"Students were awarded scholarships through this and now because of the bankruptcy they may not get these scholarships," he said. "What do you have to say about this? Do you feel that there is any responsibility on you for having promoted this thing? You and your friend Barbara Miller were promoting this thing."

Long read. Worth reading. What did they know about Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX?
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Offline Ptarmigan

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Lawyers Seek To Question Bankman-Fried's Parents About Their Wealth; Goldman, JPM Revealed As FTX Creditors
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/lawyers-seek-question-bankman-frieds-parents-about-their-wealth-goldman-jpm-revealed-ftx

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With the public court of opinion having long ago convicted crypto fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried - even as several notable holdouts such as Bill Ackman  and Andrew Ross-Sorkin remain -  attention is now turning to his just as "effectively altruistic" parents. According to a court filing by bankrupt FTX, SBF's parent should be forced to answer questions and provide financial documents about their personal wealth and any money they may have gotten from the 30-year-old scammer.

As Bloomberg notes, FTX asked a judge for permission to question under oath Bankman-Fried’s family and a handful of the company’s former top executives as part of a hunt for hidden assets that could be used to repay creditors owed billions of dollars. Or not so hidden: as a reminder in November it was revealed that SBF's disgraced "progressive" parents - Stanford University law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried (who on her bio says she has "written extensively on questions of distributive justice, in the areas of tax policy, property theory and political theory" which apparently means using her son's stolen money to buy herself beachfront mansions) - purchased at least one $16.4 million beachfront "vacation home" in the gated Bahamas community of Old Fort Bay.

The court filing shows "the aggressive approach that FTX advisers are taking to recover any money that Bankman-Fried may have inappropriately handed out." The company was heavily involved in lobbying politicians and regulators and making campaign donations to Democrats and the White House. Federal prosecutors charged Bankman-Fried with fraud for his role in the collapse of FTX, which filed for bankruptcy in November.

Incidentally, when asked by Reuters in November why the couple decided to buy a vacation home in the Bahamas and how it was paid for, a spokesperson for the professors said only that Bankman and Fried had been trying to return the property to FTX. "Since before the bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Bankman and Ms. Fried have been seeking to return the deed to the company and are awaiting further instructions," the spokesperson said.

Some of the money went to buying property.
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