Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson likened former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried to notorious American fraudster Bernie Madoff and accused the media of giving the former FTX CEO a “free pass.”
Bernard Lawrence Madoff was the mastermind behind the largest known Ponzi scam in history, valued at $64.8 billion. At one point, Madoff served as Chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.
Hoskinson said the media interest in SBF, despite public evidence that SBF and FTX were involved in embezzling and stealing client funds, shows how corrupt the entire system has become.
In an X (formerly Twitter) post dated October 9, Hoskinson criticized the media frenzy around SBF following the collapse of FTX. Hoskinson first called out author Michael Lewis, whose book on SBF gained a lot of media attention just days before the former FTX CEO’s trial, calling it an “apology tour.”
The Cardano founder noted that there appears to be “a group of people who want a public vindication for SBF.” addition:
“We’ve seen this with the kid glove treatment by the New York Times and now the book is an apology tour. It’s extraordinary to me that the Bernie Madoff of my generation gets a free pass from the media. It shows you how deeply corrupt things have become, Especially if you have the right friends.
FTX was the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange at the time of its collapse in November 2022, having raised a multi-million dollar funding round in the first quarter. SBF at the time blamed external market conditions and a liquidity crunch for the decline. However, when several US law enforcement agencies began investigations into the failed cryptocurrency exchange, they reflected a completely different picture.
As a result of the investigation, Bankman-Fried was charged with seven counts of conspiracy and fraud in connection with FTX’s downfall, to which he pleaded not guilty. Judge Lewis Kaplan is overseeing the case.
The jury trial began last week. Testimony during the first week of the trial showed that Alameda Research, a trading company set up by SBF before he started the FTX exchange, had a secret backdoor into FTX to funnel client funds as early as 2019.
Related: Sam Bankman Fried Trial: A Week in Review
New information emerging from the criminal trial against Bankman-Fried revealed that he spent millions of dollars to create an image through heavy public relations spending. The former CEO reportedly paid the likes of Tom Brady and businessman Kevin O’Leary millions of dollars to buy out a few days of their time.
“He didn’t buy a yacht, did he?”
Things purchased by SBF:
$100 million naming rights to the stadium
A $25 million Super Bowl ad
$55 million for Tom Brady’s time
$10 million for Larry David’s time
$300 million in luxury real estate
$80 million to politicians
$30 million for private jets
– His Excellency Cas Piancey (@CasPiancey) October 6, 2023
Other extravagances included private jets, Super Bowl ads, and payments to politicians. One excerpt from Lewis’ book claimed that SBF was considering paying Donald Trump $5 billion so he wouldn’t run for president.
The first week of the trial, which began on October 3, focused on the disappearance of $8 billion in FTX client funds. In addition to Gary Wang’s testimony, the first week saw both the prosecution and defense present their arguments, as well as Adam Yedediah’s testimony on October 5.
Cointelegraph reporters are on the ground in New York for the trial of former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried. As the story develops, check here for the latest updates.
Journal: Blockchain Investigators – The collapse of Mount Gox marked the birth of Chainalysis