Sam Bankman-Fried Off to Serve Home Detention, Spotted in Airline Lounge

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:

Disgraced former founder of the now bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, is free on bail posted courtesy of a security against his parents home.   The amount?  A cool $250 million.

He was spotted chilling in the American Airlines lounge over the weekend as he headed to Palo Alto, California.  He will remain in house detention until his trial. 

Bankman-Fried has lost "his" billions in recent weeks due to the collapse of FTX.  Most of that money was likely drained from investor accounts and used to plug losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research, according to U.S. prosecutors. 

Those behind the now bankrupt crypto exchange FTX lived a lavish life of pill-popping, bed-hopping and video games in their $40-million Bahamas penthouse, according to reports that began surfacing during all the chaos.

The supposed "adult in the room" was none other than Dan Friedberg.  He was tied to an insider cheating scandal at an online poker room back in 2008. 

Friedberg was allegedly overheard in an audio tape released in 2013 "actively conspiring with the other principals in attendance to (a) publicly obfuscate the source of the cheating, (b) minimize the amount of restitution made to players, and (c) force shareholders to shoulder most of the bill," writes Steven Stradbrooke of CoinGeek.

As it turns out, CoinGeek had profiled Bankman-Fried among its "Crypto Crime Cartel" back in November 2021, a full year prior to the FTX collapse. Stuart Hoegner is also referenced as someone, along with Friedberg, "had reinvented themselves as crypto counsels".  Friedberg was the FTX Compliance Officer and operated under three other job titles under a two-year period.

Jordan Atkins at the time wrote:

Bankman-Fried has been "an outspoken defender of Tether, even at a time when the New York Attorney General’s investigation was proving that the stablecoin wasn’t actually stable at all."

Atkins speculated at the time that Bankman-Fried was likely well aware at this point that in Tether’s user agreement.

They accept no obligation to redeem a single USDT, and he mischaracterizes the concern surrounding Tether by implying that because he has been able to sell his Tether, everyone else holding the some $73 billion worth of USDT will be able to do the same once everyone begins to run for the exit.

And the warning signs were there in full view years before some of the biggest names in sports (Tom Brady, et al) and entertainment (Larry David, et al) went all-in on FTX.  In 2019, Bankman-Fried was accused of running a RICO enterprise, all the time donating heavily to various political campaigns.

Atkins warned that the SEC last year was beginning to take notice of "Hoegner and Sam Bankman-Fried doing their best to pretend there’s totally nothing unusual with Tether stablecoin printing billions of new tethers in single days."

Bankman-Fried is now charged with what one U.S. prosecutor called a "fraud of epic proportions."

Two of Bankman-Fried's closest associates - former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang - have already pleaded guilty.

- Aaron Goldstein,

Business/Financial News

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