Last week, in the trial of former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, details emerged about how the now-disgraced entrepreneur attempted to co-opt U.S. senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties.
With $50 million in donations to secretive dark money vehicles linked to both party’s respective Senate leaders, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, Bankman-Fried presumably sought to influence future crypto regulations.
Stanford was once one of the world’s great universities. It birthed Silicon Valley in its prime. And along with its nearby twin and rival, UC Berkeley, its brilliant researchers, and teachers helped fuel the mid-20th-century California miracle.
That was then. But like the descent of California, now something has gone terribly wrong with the university.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest makes for a fitting final act to this chapter of cryptocurrency history. The internet prodigy-turned-supervillain had been at large for a whole month since the spectacular collapse of his crypto trading platform, FTX. But Sam is no Butch Cassidy. Rather than vanishing, he spent his time tweeting, giving interviews, and most stupefying of all, making appearances at high-powered New York Times business conferences alongside the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Janet Yellen. Tucker Carlson speculated at the time that Bankman-Fried’s lavish donations to Democratic politicians had afforded him de facto immunity from prosecution. It seems that the goodwill has now run out.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of defunct cryptocurrency firm FTX, was charged Tuesday by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with defrauding investors.
In a formal complaint, the SEC alleges that Bankman-Fried raised more than $1.8 billion from investors since 2019 but diverted the funds to his personal crypto account.
Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, had planned to become the biggest donor to the Democratic Party in 2024, a cycle in which he might have spent as much as $1 billion, according to investigative journalist Theodore Schleifer, writing for Puck News Wednesday.
The erstwhile billionaire filed in April, 2022, to incorporate an umbrella organization known as The Center for the Future in Delaware, according to Schleifer, citing corporate database Open Corporates. The organization intended to tackle a variety of hot-button issues ranging from pandemic preparedness to democracy reform, the foundation of which was the first salvo in a 50-year influence campaign designed to fundamentally transform American politics, Schleifer alleges, citing sources who spoke with Bankman-Fried’s aides.