According to the testimony of Richard Busick, an FBI special agent, the schedule of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was extremely busy with numerous meetings with world leaders just before the collapse of the FTX exchange.
During the trial held in the Southern District of New York on October 17th, Busick appeared as a witness, accusing Bankman-Fried of various offenses. Busick used data from cell towers from June 2021 to November 2022 to determine Bankman-Fried’s mobile phone data. The collected data, along with emails obtained by the Department of Justice, indicated that the FTX CEO had a very busy September.
According to the emails, on September 20th, Bankman-Fried is said to have met with former U.S. President Bill Clinton at the Hilton Hotel in New York. Just a few days prior, Bankman-Fried also had a private meeting with New York Governor Kathy Hochul at a location believed to be the Capital Grille restaurant on East 42nd Street.
Following the meeting with the former U.S. President, Bankman-Fried met with Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, the Chairman of the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment, Khalid A. Al-Falih.
Although the contents of these meetings were not disclosed, it can be assumed that Bankman-Fried was trying to leverage political influence to salvage the financial crisis he had caused.
Earlier this week, Nishad Singh, the former Chief Technical Officer of FTX, asserted that Bankman-Fried had attempted to contribute significant sums of money to gain influence in the political arena. This is also a hotly debated topic in Michael Lewis’s new book titled “Going Infinite.”
After the collapse, which saw FTX’s valuation drop from $32 billion to bankruptcy due to liquidity shortages, the then-FTX CEO, Bankman-Fried, was arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the United States.
Since resigning as CEO of FTX on November 11, Bankman-Fried has yet to be held accountable for the losses suffered by investors. According to bankruptcy records, FTX owes $3.1 billion to its top 50 largest creditors, while Bankman-Fried’s assets are reported to be less than $1 billion.