From Bill Clinton to NYC Mayor Adams: SBF’s Political Entanglements That Endanger His Defense

New details show that Bankman-Fried had a packed schedule in September 2022, with meetings involving influential individuals less than two months before the exchange’s downfall.

From close connections with Bahamian authorities and former President Bill Clinton to an evening at the preferred late-night spot of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, here’s what’s new in the trial.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Political Web Unveiled

As per the testimony of FBI special agent Richard Busick, tasked with tracking Sam Bankman-Fried’s mobile phone from June 2021 to November 2022, records showed the former FTX executive scheduled to meet former President Bill Clinton at a New York City Hilton hotel.

Moreover, Bankman-Fried had a recorded meeting with New York State Governor Kathy Hochul just days earlier, possibly at the Capital Grille on East 42nd Street, although this location remains unconfirmed by Hochul’s office, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Kudla.

In the months leading up to FTX’s collapse and his subsequent arrest, Bankman-Fried was deeply entangled with influential figures in New York’s political and financial circles. Despite residing in the Bahamas, evidence from an FBI agent specializing in phone record analysis revealed that the crypto magnate frequently visited New York in 2022.

Special Agent Richard Busick’s testimony shed light on Bankman-Fried’s interactions in the city, potentially emphasizing the connection between his alleged crimes and New York. His schedule was a whirlwind of diverse encounters, ranging from a quick photoshoot with Forbes to meetings with prominent figures like Saudi Arabia’s finance minister and the head of its sovereign wealth fund.

These engagements were meticulously managed by his personal assistant, Natalie Tien.

Notably, he even dined with Mayor Eric Adams at Osteria La Baia, an Italian restaurant near the Museum of Modern Art, a favored late-night meeting spot for the mayor. Bankman-Fried’s high demand was evident, with numerous investment funds, including those of George Soros and Morgan Stanley, seeking access to the crypto prodigy.

Cozying up With Bahamian Officials

Two months before Bankman-Fried’s business empire slid into bankruptcy, Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis requested Bankman-Fried’s assistance in advising his son about an NFT project. This communication, presented as evidence by prosecutors, underscores the close relationship Bankman-Fried maintained with Bahamian officials, as FTX was based in the country.

The Bahamian government had previously faced criticism for its lenient crypto company regulations. Notably, the Securities Commission of the Bahamas allowed FTX to operate without a license for over two years.


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