Sam Bankman- Fried was a man who was a grown up criminal

The collapse of the FTX crypto currency exchange: When Bankman-Fried became a banker, his family was a scammers

The jury was sequestered and only a few hours of deliberations took place on Thursday night, after the trial had generated 10 million pages of documents. It is possible to start from the very beginning.

Birthdays and holidays were not celebrated in the manner that his family viewed them as an inefficiency, even though he was in the most rarefied quarters of the achievement class. When Michael Lewis wrote about his book “going Infinite,” he said that an adult from his childhood had worked 22hours a day and submitted the prospect of any interaction with someone to a cost-benefit calculation that often left him canceling meetings and obligations at the last minute.

The defense attempted to argue that Bankman-Fried acted as any rational businessperson would, amongst trying market conditions, and never intended to defraud anyone. Bankman-Fried went against conventional legal wisdom to appeal directly to the jury. The jurors were confronted with testimony by members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle, who spoke of their own guilt as well as customers and investors that lost money in the fall of FTX.

The US government accused Bankman-Fried of orchestrating a multi-billion dollar fraud, which involved money from FTX customers being deposited into a sibling company and used to fund high-risk trades, debt repayments, political donations and a life of luxury. The exchange didn’t meet customer withdrawals and it collapsed.

The sins of Bankman-Fried and FTX, according to Patrick Hillmann, former chief strategy officer at the world’s largest digital currency exchange, had been used as a “cudgel” to beat others in the industry. But this was “rank-and-file fraud,” says Hillmann: Whether Bankman-Fried had been running a “crypto exchange or Pokémon card exchange,” the wrongdoing should be treated the same way, he argues.

Though the conviction will have little bearing on the quantity of funds recovered in the FTX bankruptcy process, the mood following the verdict is equally celebratory among those whose money was misappropriated by Bankman-Fried. Pat Rabbitte is a previous customer of FTX. “The US justice system has worked.”

The jury’s deliberations take hours to days, but varies from case to case. Here, it took the jury fewer than five hours to find Bankman-Fried guilty on all counts. The prosecution had convinced the jury that Bankman-Fried had, per the indictment filed against him last December, architected and overseen a multibillion-dollar fraud.

What will Sam Bankman-Fried tell us about FTX, Theranos and other bigoted epsilon fraudsters?

As long as entrepreneurs like Bankman-Fried—and Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and Ponzi fraudster Bernie Madoff before him—are able to “buy a fast pass into the kind of esteem in which they were held by some of the most powerful entities in the country,” says Hillmann, there remains cause for concern. The people who were supposed to be watching for warning signs at FTX were asleep and not empowering its activities. He thinks that there will be another Sam Bankman-Fried.

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