In the movie Brewster’s Millions, the lead character Brewster “must spend $30 million in 30 days under a complicated set of rules that forbid him from donating too much to charity or retaining any new assets when the period is up.”
In other words, it’s a similar type balancing/juggling act that Sam Bankman-Fried had to pull with FTX’s billions – just 40 years later.
And now, as we continue to cover the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, Bloomberg took its viewers for a trip down memory lane over the weekend, publishing a treasure trove of photographs of what FTX looked like before its unceremonious collapse. All photos are via Bloomberg.
During better times in 2021, FTX staged its holiday fête at a venue in close proximity to its Nassau, Bahamas headquarters. Eager to establish this as an annual ritual, the firm had already set the wheels in motion for its 2022 festivities before facing an unforeseen downturn in November, Bloomberg noted.
And committing fraud is exhausting work. Here’s SBF crashing, perhaps after an adderall binge. Bloomberg wrote that he would “regularly sleep on what looks like a giant dog bed”. The dog got the floor.
SBF’s desk at FTX’s peak was some certain type of statement about the organization of his company. Bloomberg says he was known for his extensive hours at the office. The question everyone has now is: doing what?
Amidst the clutter, there’s Emsam, a prescription medication intended for the treatment of depression and Parkinson’s disease. In a past discussion with Bloomberg Businessweek, Bankman-Fried opened up about using the antidepressant. Additionally, a personal saltshaker found its place on his workspace, because SBF had a reputation of seasoning his meals liberally, the report says.
Here’s SBF in better days, flying private, while someone walks past with an outline of his haircut and the letters “SBF” adorning the back of a hooded sweatshirt. SBF had nearly become a religion at one point.
“In 2022, Bankman-Fried frequently traveled by private jet between the Bahamas, New York and Washington,” Bloomberg wrote.
And, naturally, here’s SBF with another one of his Democrat pals, Eric Adams. Recall we noted days ago that SBF was using customer funds to donate to Democrats through “straw donor” schemes. One of Sam Bankman-Fried’s colleagues and former FTX Engineering Chief, Nishad Singh, testified last week that the FTX head used money from his Alameda Research hedge fund to make political donations even after learning it owed $13 billion to customers of FTX.
Singh said that when he found out about the shortfall, he confront SBF in an hour long conversation in September 2022, according to Yahoo Finance. In that conversation, SBF told him that he was going to raise more cash and cut expenses.
However, Singh then said that in the interim, “he continued to receive transfers from Alameda and allow Bankman-Fried associates to use the money to donate to U.S. Democratic candidates”.
According to the report, Singh called it a “straw donor” scheme. Here’s another photo of SBF with his Democrat friends that the world has seen a bit more frequently.
Finally, what would a spread on FTX be without photos of SBF’s luxurious living quarters, where Bankman-Fried resided in the penthouse alongside his associates and confidants.
Him and his co-workers did everything from work together, to play together, to sleep together, it has been widely reported.
You can view the full treasure trove of photos over at Bloomberg. Recall, just days ago we published this take from The Epoch Times explaining why the trial doesn’t seem to be going SBF’s way so far.
The paper wrote that the trial “…has thus far strongly supported the prosecution’s charges of securities fraud, analysts say; meanwhile, any questions regarding his massive political donations have been put off for another day.”
Since its start on Oct. 3, the trial has featured compelling testimony from former colleagues FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, both of whom pointed the finger at Mr. Bankman-Fried—also known by his initials, SBF—as the ringmaster of one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history. The defense has struggled to make its case, although Mr. Bankman-Fried’s attorneys may still have cards to play, The Epoch Times wrote.
“As of now, it’s not going well for the defense,” Braden Perry, a former federal enforcement attorney who’s currently a partner at Kennyhertz Perry, told The Epoch Times. “Both Ellison and Wang have testified that SBF directed them to commit the crimes.”