in

Sam Bankman-Fried’s sentencing plea stunt

Sam Bankman-Fried’s sentencing plea stunt
Announcement


Announcement
Announcement

Sam Bankman-Fried, cofounder of FTX. Victor J. Blue—Bloomberg/Getty Images

If you are a 31-year-old who is charged with major crimes, the normal course of action is to take a plea deal in order to reduce the sentence, and then hope for the best before the judge. You will probably also resign yourself to spending decades in prison. Unless you are rich and connected, of course. Then you may try a different strategy.

Take Sam Bankman-Fried. Even though he faced a mountain of evidence showing he committed one of the biggest frauds in U.S. history, he chose to roll the dice on a three-week trial. For his trouble, Bankman-Fried got rung up by a jury in less than four hours. And now that he faces a maximum sentence of 100 years or more when he goes before a judge next month, he is doing something else only wealthy and entitled people can do. He is trying to spin his way out of the whole mess.

As the New York Times reported on Tuesday night, Bankman-Fried has hired “a new lawyer known for courtroom showmanship” and another high-flying attorney to work on a long-shot appeal. He also has his law professor parents—the Bay Area power couple known as “Barb and Joe” to fellow denizens of Stanford’s campus—working on legal issues, and arranging a sympathy campaign to show why everyone is wrong about the poor lad.

All of this is a “long-shot strategy orchestrated by Mr. Bankman-Fried’s family and friends to reverse his conviction and engineer a public reappraisal of his leadership at FTX.” The Times doesn’t acknowledge it is a vehicle for this strategy—as evidenced by Bankman-Fried’s team waiting for its sympathetic article to drop before filing a trove of letters and arguments in court to amplify their position. And nor does its article raise the awkward question of how the Bankman-Fried clan is paying for those gold-plated lawyers and a PR firm whose monthly retainers start at $50,000.


The likely answer is that Bankman-Fried’s parents are footing the bills with the help of $10 million they pressed him to pay his father for legal work—money that came from the treasuries of the crypto companies that collapsed under a mountain of fraud. This is bad enough but even more obnoxious when you read things like this: “His lawyers said Bankman-Fried wasn’t motivated by greed but by a desire to better the world through philanthropic giving. Material items and extravagance did nothing for him, they said.”

Really? Recall this is the same guy who lived in a luxury villa and liked to jet around the world, rubbing shoulders at lavish events with the likes of Tom Brady or Katy Perry. Nothing material or extravagant about that. And let’s not forget Bankman-Fried’s parents are being sued by the FTX estate not only for the return of the $10 million (in the case of his father) but for a $16.4 million mansion in the Bahamas that is in their name.

All of this makes the parents’ current attempt to “engineer a public reappraisal” of their Sam so galling. They remind us at all turns how Sam should not be punished for robbing his customers because he is on the spectrum or because he has been the victim of cruel media caricatures. And so on. What they won’t say is that Sam is a 31-year-old man who grew up with every privilege in the world, and has shown every indication of being a liar and a sociopath.

You can’t fault Barb and Joe for doing all they can to protect their child. Any parent would do the same. But if they really wanted to show their love and help their son, they could—just once—stop telling Sam how special he is.

Announcement

Jeff John Roberts
jeff.roberts@fortune.com
@jeffjohnroberts

DECENTRALIZED NEWS

Coinbase says it has fixed a bug, induced by heavy trading after Bitcoin crossed $60,000, that led many users to see their balance displayed as $0. (Reuters)

In a settlement with New York, Winklevii-led Gemini agreed to pay $1 billion to make whole the customers of its ill-fated Earn program, and to pay a $37 million fine for failing to conduct due diligence. (Fortune)

The re-staking project Ether.fi—which lets users stake tokens they have already locked on Ethereum—raised a $23 million Series A at a time when capital parked on its platform has recently jumped to $1.66 billion. (CoinDesk)

Trading app Webull, which made its name during the meme-stock era, reportedly dropped its crypto business to get regulators to bless its just-announced plan to go public via a SPAC. (Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley is reportedly planning to add Bitcoin ETFs to its giant brokerage platform, which would make it the first big registered investment advisor (RIA) to do so—and would likely lead to a further price surge. (CoinDesk)

MEME O’ THE MOMENT

Get yer Bitcoin white paper hoodie:

Announcement





Source link

Announcement

What do you think?

Written by Politixia

Announcement
Announcement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Announcement
Record drought gripped much of the U.S. in 2022

Record drought gripped much of the U.S. in 2022

Claudine Gay, white outrage and the myth of the ‘diversity hire’

Claudine Gay, white outrage and the myth of the ‘diversity hire’