Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder and CEO of FTX, the collapsed cryptocurrency trading platform, hasn’t just been (allegedly) stealing investor money and using it to fund the ridiculous lifestyles of him and his employees, along with those at Alameda Research, the hedge fund that is deeply interconnected to FTX. While that seems to have happened, he’s also been spending his time meeting with President Biden’s officials, with whom he has met four times in 2022.
In fact, according to a report in Bloomberg, SBF showed up to the White House and met with a very senior White House adviser, Steve Ricchetti. That meeting took place on September 8, which was just a couple of months before SBF’s company and public image collapsed into a heap of rubble. SBF also met with the same official, Steve Ricchetti, on both April 22nd and May 12 of 2022 as well
Ricchetti is serving as the Counselor to the President under President Joe Biden. During the Obama years he was then-Vice President Biden’s Chief of Staff and during the Clinton presidency, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. As Counselor to the President, Ricchetti mainly serves as a high-level political advisor to the president, Joe Biden.
But Ricchetti isn’t the only one in the Biden Administration that SBF met with. He also met with a different Team Biden official, Bruce Reed, a senior Biden aide, on May 13th of 2022.
But that’s not all. In addition to SBF showing up at the White House and meeting with high-ranking Team Biden officials, his brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, apparently had a meeting at the White House in March of 2022.
The current story is that the meetings between the Bankman-Fried brothers and Team Biden officials were about cryptocurrencies rather than politics, though that story seems likely to change as more details are uncovered given that SBF was a huge Democrat donor and Ricchetti largely serves as a political advisor, not a cryptocurrency adviser. That’s particularly likely given that all of the meetings were before the November midterms and SBF contributed about $40 million to Democrat campaigns this midterm cycle.
SBF is currently awaiting trial on wire fraud and securities charges regarding the collapse of FTX, which it appears like he treated as piggy bank for both himself and FTX employees, stealing nearly $2 billion from investors and those who deposited their cryptocurrency holdings with FTX. To attract depositor money, SBF relied on high-profile advertisements and endorsements from well-liked public figures like NFL superstar Tom Brady.
SBF will be arraigned in a New York federal court on January 3rd of 2023. He faces up to 115 years in prison over his alleged role in the stealing of depositor funds and wire fraud. He was recently extradited from the Bahamas, where FTX was headquartered and he was arrested weeks after the FTX collapse, to the United States. He was released on a $250 million bond after landing in the United States.