SBF Trial Latest Dispatch: Sam Bankman-Fried gave special FTX perks to Bahamian officials


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  • Latest revelations from SBF trial show Sam Bankman-Fried gave the prime minister of the Bahamas special seats during events.
  • He also had separate and special deals on FTX for Bahamian citizens and the country’s authorities. 
  • High officials including the country’s attorney general were allowed to withdraw funds from FTX when it was closed to the general public.

The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) continued on Tuesday with the FTX founder offering interesting revelations about the last days of the crypto platform. In the latest, reports by Mathew Russell Lee with the Inner City Press show that the accused gave special FTX privileges to Bahamian officials.

Also Read: SBF on the stand: Sam Bankman-Fried thought taking FTX deposits through Alameda was legal

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried had special deals for special people

Recent declarations show that certain individuals of authority from the Bahamian government received special privileges to the exchange from its then CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried. According to a report, SBF gave the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Edward "Brave" Davis, and his wife access to courtside seats at the Miami Heat Arena, formerly FTX Arena, during basketball matches.

In the cross-examination, it was also revealed that besides the prime minister, Bahamian Attorney General (AG) Ryan Pinder was also a beneficiary of FTX perks, including access to “take their money off FTX while everyone else was losing.” The offer was made to Pinder as SBF thought that is what the AG wanted and he was willing to do it.

According to Russell Lee, the discoveries call into question why the US Department of Justice (DOJ) decided to agree to a request by the Bahamas that SBF’s campaign financing and China bribe charge be dropped in the SBF case when certain Chinese and Bahamians had received gratuities and bribes such as the courtside basketball tickets, based on prosecutors’ presentations.  

Meanwhile, everything is moving faster than had been anticipated, with the cross-examination closing, short redirect in court, no re-cross-examination, and no rebuttal case. The judge overseeing the case, Lewis Kaplan, indicated that closing arguments will be heard on Wednesday. SBF lawyer Mark Cohen moved for a “judgment of acquittal,” but the judge denied it.

For the layperson, a judgment of acquittal means a “not guilty” verdict, with the suspect being dismissed by due process.

It is worth mentioning that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) had responded to SBF’s declaration that he thought Binance was paying people on Twitter as part of its strategy of doxxing and targeting FTX for working with regulators.

More critical revelations from the October 30 cross-examination include SBF openly admitting to using FTX funds to pay off Alameda Research debt. Before the Jury, the prosecutor also presented information from SBF's notes following the Chapter 11 filing by FTX in November 2022. The notes revealed claims by SBF that his crypto empire would be stable if the Alameda Research hedge fund "completely separated 100%" with FTX. 

 

 

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