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Sam Bankman-Fried considered 'coming out as Republican' — Bloomberg

The court documents show that SBF was exploring ways to rehabilitate his reputation and perhaps even start anew in crypto.

SBF thinks of coming out as republican

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Newly unsealed court documents show that Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the disgraced founder of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, contemplated a series of unconventional strategies to rehabilitate his image and launch a new crypto venture in the wake of FTX’s collapse.

According to a Google document attached to a court filing by prosecutors seeking a 50-year prison sentence for Bankman-Fried, the former crypto mogul considered a range of tactics, including pivoting to the Republican party, speaking out against the “woke agenda,” and criticizing the team running his bankrupt former company.

The document was highlighted through an investigative report conducted by Bloomberg. The Google document linked in the court filing is now private but is extensively quoted in the latter.

The document, titled “Note: these are all random probably bad ideas that aren’t vetted; CONFIDENTIAL,” reveals Bankman-Fried’s brainstorming sessions as he grappled with the fallout from FTX’s implosion. Among the ideas he considered were appearing on Tucker Carlson’s show to “come out as a republican,” telling people that the FTX bankruptcy team “has no idea how to run FTX,” and expressing his gratitude for their intervention.

On the 15th bullet point, Sam Bankman-Fried describes a plan to go on social media (particularly, on X, formerly known as Twitter).

“Radical honesty on Twitter – just explain exactly what happened, in detail.”

This revelation should include “gory details, both about what happened, and about the lawyer fuckups afterwards,” Bankman-Fried wrote.

Bankman-Fried also contemplated leveraging his connections with author Michael Lewis to secure a televised interview and using Twitter polls to gauge public opinion on his next moves. He even considered leaking a document to the press as part of his PR strategy.

Prosecutors argue that the Google document demonstrates Bankman-Fried’s motivation to “launch his redemption narrative” and potentially defraud investors in the future. They contend that these unconventional ideas underscore the need for a lengthy prison sentence to prevent further misconduct.

In November 2023, a Manhattan jury convicted Bankman-Fried on seven charges, including wire fraud and conspiracy, for his role in the misuse of FTX customer funds. Prosecutors allege that he directed the transfer of customer money to Alameda Research, an affiliated hedge fund, for high-risk investments, political donations, and lavish real estate purchases before both companies collapsed in 2022. At its peak, FTX was valued at $32 billion.

The court documents also shed light on Bankman-Fried’s political dealings. Prosecutors claim he directed more than $100 million in illegal political donations to Democratic and Republican politicians and political action groups using customer funds. While Bankman-Fried primarily supported Democratic causes and candidates, he allegedly funneled donations to Republicans through other executives to conceal the source of the funds.

As the legal proceedings against Bankman-Fried continue, the revelations from these court documents provide a glimpse into the measures he considered in an attempt to salvage his reputation and business empire in the face of mounting legal troubles and public scrutiny. Recent reports also reveal that SBF has been dealing with prison life by promoting Solana.

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