Dirty Money: FTX Boss Sam Bankman-Fried’s Legal Defense Funded by Cash He Gave His Father

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg

Disgraced FTX CEO and Democrat super donor Sam Bankman-Fried allegedly has his legal defense funded by money from his hedge fund Alameda Research that he gifted to his father. SBF is accused of stealing billions from FTX customers to enrich himself and his hedge fund cronies.

Forbes reports that the founder of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, is preparing for his October trial with the support of several attorneys. Twelve criminal charges, including wire fraud, money laundering, securities fraud, and an additional bribery charge, are being brought against the former billionaire. FTX’s sister company, hedge fund Alameda Research, allegedly provided the funding for Bankman-Fried’s defense via a multimillion-dollar gift to his father, according to Forbes.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (second on left) is led away in handcuffs by officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in Nassau, Bahamas, on December 13, 2022. (MARIO DUNCANSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Bankman-Fried made a sizeable financial gift to his father, Stanford Law professor Joseph Bankman, in 2021 while still acting as CEO of FTX. According to two sources with operational knowledge of both businesses, Alameda Research, the exchange’s trading firm, loaned money to pay for the gift.

“I didn’t steal funds, and I certainly didn’t stash billions away,” Bankman-Fried wrote on Substack earlier this year. Despite the allegations against him, he has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains his innocence.

According to Forbes, Bankman-Fried’s defense expenses are probably in the low millions. He sent his father the money using his lifetime estate and gift tax exemption, effectively making it a tax-free gift, after receiving at least $10 million from Alameda. According to these sources, he gave the maximum amount that can be given in a lifetime, which in that year would have been $11.7 million.

Bankman-Fried’s parents have come together in support of their 31-year-old son amidst increasing scrutiny. “I’ll be spending substantially all of my resources on Sam’s defense,” Joseph Bankman explained to a charity whose donation from FTX was stopped due to the bankruptcy.

Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell of Cohen & Gresser, both former federal prosecutors who were a part of the defense team that counseled Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who was found guilty of sex trafficking a minor in 2021, are now representing Bankman-Fried. Additionally, he is receiving free legal counsel from criminal defense lawyer David W. Mills, a close relative friend and Joseph Bankman’s Stanford classmate.

Bankman-Fried’s estimated $26.5 billion net worth has virtually vanished since his arrest in the Bahamas last December because a large portion of his wealth was invested in FTX and its FTT tokens. According to reports, the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked lawmakers who accepted gifts from Bankman-Fried to send them back to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Bankman-Fried is anticipated to face fresh charges at a pretrial conference scheduled for Thursday, according to a fresh indictment that federal prosecutors unsealed on Tuesday. He is accused of conspiring to use $40 million in cryptocurrencies to bribe Chinese government officials in 2021, among other things. Uncertainty surrounds Bankman-Fried’s intended response.

As Breitbart News reported:

The Alameda Research accounts were the target of a freezing order from Chinese police “in or around” November 2021, the DOJ says.

The new indictment also claims that Bankman-Fried and others tried “numerous methods” to unfreeze the accounts, which contained roughly $1 billion in cryptocurrency.

After their efforts failed, the disgraced FTX co-founder allegedly directed a multi-million dollar bribe to unfreeze the accounts. Once the accounts were unlocked, Alameda Research used the assets to continue funding its loss-generating trades.

Read more at Forbes here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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