Author Topic: FTX Assets Frozen By Bahamas Regulator, Liquidator Appointed, Arrest Rumored  (Read 675 times)

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Offline Ptarmigan

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Sam Bankman-Fried ran FTX like ‘personal fiefdom’ as firm spent $300M on luxury real estate
https://nypost.com/2022/11/22/sam-bankman-fried-ran-ftx-like-personal-fiefdom-as-firm-spent-300m-on-luxury-real-estate/

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Sam Bankman-Fried treated FTX like a “personal fiefdom,” as he and a handful of associates looted the now-defunct crypto exchange’s coffers to fund an epic spending spree that included a $300 million splurge on Bahamas real estate, lawyers for the company claimed.

FTX’s bankruptcy team detailed the wild spending under 30-year-old Bankman-Fried in a closely watched court hearing on Tuesday — revealing rampant mismanagement by top executives until the platform collapsed with more than $1 billion in client funds missing.

Attorneys said the $300 million spent on real estate was mostly used to buy mansions and beachfront vacation properties for Bankman-Fried and other senior FTX executives.

The purchases went undisclosed during a months-long media blitz in which the scruffy-looking Bankman-Fried, typically dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, portrayed himself as a socially conscious benefactor for Democrats and progressive causes.

Sam Bankman-Fried used FTX as his personal piggy bank. He was donating to leftist causes. He is a robber baron.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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Sam Bankman-Fried Called to FTX Hearing by Texas Securities Regulator
https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2022/11/29/sam-bankman-fried-called-to-ftx-hearing-by-texas-securities-regulator/

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Ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been called to a Feb. 2 hearing to answer to claims from a Texas regulator that FTX US offered unregistered securities products through its yield-bearing service.

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) scheduled the administrative hearing, accusing Bankman-Fried’s company of securities violations in Texas, although the disgraced CEO is no longer running the company he founded, which is now mired in bankruptcy proceedings. The board, which sent a registered letter to Bankman-Fried’s address in the Bahamas informing him of the hearing, suggested the proceedings could be conducted over Zoom.

FTX Capital Markets LLC is registered as a dealer with the board, and “Texans were able to buy and sell publicly traded stock through the firm,” according to the hearing notice that was dated Nov. 22. The state regulator is seeking a cease-and-desist order for FTX to halt securities fraud in the state, to return money to affected investors and to target Bankman-Fried with fines.

Sam Bankman-Fried has to answer to Texas regulators.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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Sam Bankman-Fried Addresses Withdrawals, FTX Collapse in Newly Released Audio Interview
https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/11/29/sam-bankman-fried-addresses-withdrawals-ftx-collapse-in-newly-released-audio-interview/

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire blew up in spectacular fashion at the beginning of this month, and questions continue to swirl around the motives and mechanics that caused crypto exchange FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research, to collapse.

Among the more unprecedented elements of the FTX saga has been the fact that Bankman-Fried, who was raised by two lawyers, can’t seem to keep his mouth shut despite mounting legal threats.

After cryptic tweet threads and a viral DM exchange with a Vox reporter in which he said “f**k regulators” and admitted that his philanthropic identity was largely manufactured for PR reasons, Bankman-Fried’s actual voice is being heard for the first time post-FTX collapse with newly released audio from Tiffany Fong – a crypto investor-turned-whistleblower who initially gained attention for leaking audio that showed Celsius Network, the now-bankrupt crypto lending platform, planned to use a cynical “crypto-based solution” to repay users of its Earn Lending platform.

In a phone call with Fong on Nov. 16 – several days after FTX filed for bankruptcy protection – Bankman-Fried rehashed many of the same defenses and rationalizations for his behavior that he had shared previously in other places to explain what went wrong. In general, Bankman-Fried’s defense was (and continues to be) that he greatly mistook how leveraged he was.

Sam Bankman-Fried is a conman.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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Beto O’Rourke Returned $1 Million Donation From Former Crypto Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried
https://dailycaller.com/2022/11/29/beto-orourke-returned-1-million-donation-from-former-crypto-billionaire-sam-bankman-fried/

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Beto O’Rourke’s Texas gubernatorial campaign returned a $1 million donation from former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried four days before election day, according to the Texas Tribune.

The O’Rourke campaign decided to return Bankman-Fried’s donation on Nov. 4 and the decision was reportedly unrelated to the former crypto billionaire’s business scandals, a spokesman told the Texas Tribune. The spokesman said the campaign chose to return the funds because O’Rourke had not talked to Bankman-Fried before the large donation, which was unsolicited and took them by surprise.

Beto out here with more integrity than media outlets that took FTX grant money pic.twitter.com/CnbKJzyD0J

— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) November 29, 2022

During the fundraising cycle spanning July 1 to Sept. 29, Bankman-Fried was the campaign’s top donor with the $1 million contribution, Texas Tribune reported at the time. O’Rourke’s campaign raised $77 million overall and received seven figure sums from three other donors, including Democratic megadonor George Soros, the Tribune noted. At one point, he broke a four month Texas fundraising record, hauling in $27.6 million over four months, his campaign announced in July.

Sam Bankman-Fried donated money to Beto O'Rourke.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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Sam Bankman-Fried says he’s not to blame for FTX collapse: ‘Didn’t ever try to commit fraud’
https://nypost.com/2022/11/30/ftxs-sam-bankman-fried-didnt-ever-try-to-commit-fraud/

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Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, attempted to distance himself from suggestion of fraud in his first public appearance since his company’s collapse stunned investors and left creditors facing losses totaling billions of dollars.

Speaking at the New York Times’ Dealbook Summit with Andrew Ross Sorkin at what he said was against the advice of his lawyers, Bankman-Fried said that he did not knowingly commingle customer funds on FTX with funds at his proprietary trading firm, Alameda Research.

The liquidity crunch at FTX came after Bankman-Fried secretly moved $10 billion of FTX customer funds to Alameda Research, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. At least $1 billion in customer funds had vanished, the people said.

Bankman-Fried told Reuters the company did not “secretly transfer” but rather misread its “confusing internal labeling.

My BS meter shot up.  :bs:
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Offline Ptarmigan

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Inside FTX’s wild spending: All-expense trips, packages by private jets and free massages
https://nypost.com/2022/11/30/wild-ftx-spending-included-all-expense-trips-and-free-massages/

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FTX executives spent wildly and showered workers with lavish perks such as free food and massages, and Amazon deliveries by private jet in the months before the cryptocurrency site’s catastrophic collapse, according to former employees.

FTX’s headquarters in the Bahamas featured daily catering “in addition to the free groceries, barbershop pop-up and bi-weekly massages,” a former worker told the Financial Times.

Workers also enjoyed a “full suite of cars and gas covered for all employees [and] unlimited, full expense covered trips to any office globally,” the ex-employee added.

Since Amazon does not deliver to the Bahamas, FTX reportedly chartered private planes to fly their orders from Miami to the company headquarters. FTX’s US branch was given $200 per day toward DoorDash food delivery.

Former employees expressed shock over the extent of the spending under FTX’s disgraced founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, who has drawn sharp criticism in bankruptcy court for using the company as his “personal fiefdom.”

Where did all that money go?
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Offline Ptarmigan

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FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried claims he only has $100K left in bank account
https://nypost.com/2022/11/30/sam-bankman-fried-claims-he-only-has-100000-left-in-his-bank-account/

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The crypto bro has gone crypto broke.

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried claims he has just $100,000 left in his bank account after the implosion of his cryptocurrency empire.

The remarks Monday marked Bankman-Fried’s first attempt to explain his current personal wealth during intense scrutiny over his handling of FTX’s finances. The firm’s new leaders have condemned Bankman-Fried’s management of the company as they navigate a disastrous bankruptcy. 

“Am I allowed to say a negative number?” Bankman-Fried told Axios regarding his personal finances. “I mean, I have no idea. I don’t know. I had $100,000 in my bank account last I checked.”

“It’s complicated. Basically everything I had was just tied up in the company,” Bankman-Fried added.

More money is socked away somewhere.............
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Offline Ptarmigan

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Bankman-Fried’s Money Tied to Major Media Outlets, Bringing ‘Journalistic Integrity’ Into Question
https://www.theepochtimes.com/bankman-frieds-money-tied-to-major-media-outlets-bringing-journalistic-integrity-into-question_4893131.html?utm_source=partner&utm_campaign=BonginoReport

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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried gave millions to various media outlets throughout 2022 via his family-run nonprofit, “Building a Stronger Future.” The major companies that received funding include Vox, ProPublica, Semafor, and The Intercept.

In some cases, donations appear to be crucial to the viability of the recipients.

In a leaked letter to staff members, Roger Hodge, editor-in-chief of The Intercept, acknowledged that there was now a “significant hole” in the company’s budget. According to Hodge, the company received $500,000 a few months ago.

“Another $250,000 was due in December, with $3.25 million to follow over the next two years.”

Downplaying the potential conflict of interest, Hodge heaped praise on his reporters in the letter: “I also knew our reporters would never pull their punches because of a donation—and they didn’t.” He adds that The Intercept disclosed Bankman-Fried’s donation in its reporting on the FTX story.

Sam Bankman-Fried donated money to news media. So much for integrity.
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Offline Drafe Hoblin

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Has Miami-Dade renamed FTX-Arena yet?

I'd go with the Goosh-Arena.  You know... the sound that a toilet makes when it's flushing.
Watch more television.

Offline Ptarmigan

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Bankman-Fried Discusses Democrat Donations, Relationship With Ukraine, and More
https://www.theepochtimes.com/bankman-fried-discusses-democrat-donations-relationship-with-ukraine-and-more_4895240.html?utm_source=partner&utm_campaign=BonginoReport

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Political Donations
“I donated about the same amount to both parties,” Bankman-Fried told Fong when asked about his political donations.

The crypto exchange founder’s political donations have been widely publicized in recent weeks, with numerous outlets reporting that Bankman-Fried personally donated almost $40 million to Democratic candidates ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, outdone only by Democrat mega-donor George Soros.

“All my Republican donations were dark,” he said, meaning that they weren’t disclosed publicly. “And the reason was not for regulatory reasons; it’s because reporters freak the [expletive] out if you donate to a Republican because they are all super liberal.

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Relationship to Ukraine
“I wish I could’ve pulled that off,” Bankman-Fried joked, referencing a popular internet theory that FTX and Ukraine were colluding to launder humanitarian donations.

In March, FTX and Ukraine partnered to set up a donation platform to facilitate crypto payments to the National Bank of Ukraine.

This partnership catalyzed speculations, which obtained substantial reach, being covered by Fox News anchor Jesse Waters.

:bs:

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Commingling FTX Client Funds
Toward the end of the interview, Fong pressed Bankman-Fried on the misuse of user funds. Various news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, reported that Bankman-Fried’s crypto investment company Alameda Research had tapped into FTX customer funds to finance reckless trading ventures.

When asked how FTX funds ended up on Alameda’s balance sheet, he stuttered through a lengthy response and eventually answered that it ultimately came down to a “large margin position,” meaning that Alameda was making investments with loaned capital. Pressed to explain further, the former billionaire suggested that appropriating customer funds to margin accounts is “sort of the norm” for derivatives exchanges, implying that Alameda Research was simply fulfilling the role of a very large customer.

Then, referring to the general decline in crypto assets this year, Bankman-Fried noted that a “hyper-correlated crash” diminished the value of Alameda’s collateral and made it impossible to come up with sufficient funds to pay back the loans.

Conman.

Here are the interviews by Tiffany Fong.

Full First Interview With Sam Bankman-Fried
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DezodR9hNI

Second Interview with SBF: FTX User Funds on Alameda, $8 billion hole, CZ, Run on the Bank, Remorse
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP54LZB3WRw

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Offline Ptarmigan

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Earth to Reporters: Why Is No One Asking SFB What Happened to the $3.3 Billion He Borrowed?
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/12/earth-to-reporters-why-is-no-one-asking-sfb-what-happened-to-the-3-3-billion-he-borrowed.html

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Disgraced crypto chief Sam Bankman-Fried has been talking to reporters, including at the New York Times (the famed Andrew Ross Sorkin Dealbook interview), the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Despite the fact that it’s generally seen as a very bad idea to say anything about your past conduct when you are a litigation target, and likely for a criminal case, and SBF has said his lawyers are opposed to talking to the press, SBF is nevertheless swanning about on his media tour.

Even though SBF got a bit of pushback from Sorkin on the question of co-mingling of funds when SBF tried playing, “Oh it was sort of allowed and anyway things were a mess,” he and other reporters didn’t probe very hard once they got his next layer of excuses: “Oh I didn’t mean to do anything bad, I don’t have access to records any more and my memory is fuzzy, and I really didn’t have anything to do with Alameda.”

Here is the Financial Times’s recap from over the weekend:

Core to Bankman-Fried’s account of how FTX ended up with a roughly $8bn shortfall of client assets was excessive lending by the exchange to Alameda, which ploughed the money into venture capital investments and doomed bets on digital tokens.

Bankman-Fried deflected the FT’s questions about the excessive borrowing and soured investments that ultimately sank Alameda, blowing a hole in FTX’s finances, and would not be drawn on the legal consequences he may face. He said he deliberately avoided getting involved in Alameda’s trading and risk management to avoid conflicts with his position as chief executive of FTX, and neglected to monitor the risk they posed to the exchange.

Got that? $8 billion hole at the hedge fund Alamada. We are supposed to believe that the was the result of FTX lending to Alamada and then Alameda doing stoopid things that burned up a lot of dough. Oh, and even though SBF is responsible for (at best) crappy controls at FTX that allowed Alameda, we are also supposed to believe SBF’s claims that he was not involved in what was happening at Alameda.

Where does all the billions go?  :???: Sam Bankman-Fried keeps talking.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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Alameda's Caroline Ellison Spotted In NY Amid Speculation She Is About To Roll On SBF After Hiring Iconic Clinton Lawyer
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/alamedas-caroline-ellison-spotted-ny-amid-speculation-she-about-roll-sbf-after-hiring

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As Sam Bankman-Fried enters day six of his whirlwind media tour in which he makes one or more daily appearances - against the advice of his lawyers - in hopes of convincing someone that he was too dumb to be a criminal mastermind with billions in crypto in cold storage and in bank accounts in Dubai and Singapore (luckily all his wire transfers can be traced), also known as the Simple Jack defense...

So today was day one of @SBF_FTX "i am too dumb to be a criminal mastermind" world tour.

Join us tomorrow for day two when he channels Simple Jack next to Janet Yellen and Zelenskyy at the NYT summit of totally non-criminal folks.

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 30, 2022
... the weakest link in SBF's defense was just spotted in a New York coffee shop, amid speculation she is preparing to blow up SBF's entire defense strategy.

According to Autism Capital, the former CEO of Alameda Capital (which as a reminder was ground zero of the FTX implosion after it blew up $8 billion in FTX client funds on trades gone horribly wrong), Caroline Ellison, was spotted at 8:15am this morning at the Ground Support Coffee on West Broad in SoHo Manhattan. This, as AC notes, "would mean she is not in Hong Kong and is in NY not in custody."

Caroline Ellison has hired lawyer from WilmerHale.
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Offline Texacon

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Stranger and stranger it seems.  I wish some of the investors could get at least some of their money back, but I'm not seeing it.

I did hear that some of the dems who benefitted from FTX funds are willing to give 'some' of it to charity ... charity.  Why not give it back to an escrow account that could be divided among vicitims?

KC
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*Stolen

Offline DefiantSix

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...Why not give it back to an escrow account that could be divided among vicitims?

KC

Because that would defeat the purpose of the scam in the first place.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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FTX's Bankman-Fried Hires Ghislaine Maxwell's Defense Attorney
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/ftxs-bankman-fried-hires-ghislaine-maxwells-defense-attorney

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While FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been doing the 'simple jack' routine in recent interviews, saying at last week's DealBook conference "I don’t personally think that I have [criminal liability]," his recent legal move suggests otherwise.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that SBF has hired white collar defense attorney Mark S. Cohen to represent him, as US authorities probe the implosion of SBF's crypto exchange. Cohen, a former assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, recently defended Ghislaine Maxwell in her sex trafficking trial.

Regulators around the world, including in the Bahamas where FTX is domiciled, as well as in the United States, are looking into FTX's top executives at the time of its collapse. FTX filed for bankruptcy last month following a liquidity crisis that caused roughly $1 billion of customer funds to evaporate, after secretly transferring customer funds to its affiliate, Alameda Research, to try and plug the hole before its collapse.

Sam Bankman-Fried keeps talking and has hired Mark S. Cohen.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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New FTX CEO Testimony ‘False,’ Bankman-Fried Says
https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2022/12/05/new-ftx-ceo-testimony-false-bankman-fried-says/

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Testimony from the new FTX chief executive John J Ray III is “false,” founder of the now-defunct crypto exchange Sam Bankman-Fried said in an interview with The Block.

In a bankruptcy deposition made Nov. 17, restructuring specialist Ray berated poor record-keeping and untrustworthy financial information at FTX, which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware on Nov. 11.

In an interview released Monday, Bankman-Fried referred to “statements that have been made, that have been put on legal record that I knew to be false.”

“There have been cases where it's been said XYZ did not exist, and I am staring at a copy of XYZ, ” Bankman-Fried added. Bankman-Fried has also previously said that he has had only “limited access to data” since stepping down as CEO.

 :bs:
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Offline Ptarmigan

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2-hour sit-down with Sam Bankman-Fried on the FTX scandal
https://www.theblock.co/post/192005/2-hour-sit-down-with-sam-bankman-fried-on-the-ftx-scandal

The 2 hour interview with Sam Bankman-Fried.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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‘Call him Sam Bankman Fraud’: FTX investors who lost up to $2M lash out
https://nypost.com/2022/12/06/ftx-investors-who-lost-up-to-2m-lash-out-at-sam-bankman-fried/

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Evan Luthra says he lost more than $2 million when the FTX cryptocurrency exchange imploded last month. And he feels doubly injured seeing disgraced founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried making the media rounds, stating that he had no idea about the “huge management failures” and “accounting f–k-ups” that led to the collapse.

That Bankman-Fried has been holding court from what appears to be a stately home in the Bahamas, where he resides untouched by American law enforcement, is like salt on the wound.

“SBF is rubbing it in on us,” Luthra, a 27-year-old investor/entrepreneur who lives in Mexico and India, told The Post. “[Bankman-Fried] knows what he did is a crime. He is rubbing it in and, through the media narrative he’s spinning, trying to pin it as a mistake. I have no doubt that he knew what was going on. He should be in jail.”

At the Nov. 30 DealBook Summit, Bankman-Fried said: “I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone.”

FTX is smoke and mirrors.
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Offline Ptarmigan

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FTX Crypto Fraudsters Targeted Poor Black Neighborhoods In PR-Lobbying Effort
https://michaelshellenberger.substack.com/p/ftx-crypto-fraudsters-targeted-poor

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In the spring of 2022, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, made Chicago its U.S. headquarters, drawing the applause of the city’s mayor.

“This is a mechanism and a tool to bring traditionally underrepresented and ignored populations into the world of crypto so they can take ownership and control of their own financial destiny,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opulent, 9,000 square foot FTX headquarters in May. “I think the sky is the limit.”

The reason FTX.US chose Chicago was, in part, to use the city to pilot a cash giveaway program aimed at poor African American residents. FTX was essentially contributing to two ”guaranteed basic income” programs, one run by a nonprofit called Equity And Transformation (EAT), and the other by the city.

Ostensibly a charitable exercise, the program, which FTX also ran in Florida, expanded the market for FTX’s app, and appears to have been a crucial part of a public relations and lobbying effort aimed at winning the support of Democrats for FTX’s agenda to effectively regulate itself. 

FTX opened its US headquarters in Chicago.

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The episode is a cautionary tale about how powerful financial interests use progressive social justice ideology to advance their business interests at the expense of the communities they claim to be helping.

“We, like most nonprofits, are shocked by this because they presented this ‘effective altruism’ model to everyone and seemed to push for racial equity,” said Richard Wallace, the co-founder and executive director of EAT, one of the cash-giveaway initiatives.
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