With the ex-CEO of the infamous cryptocurrency exchange FTX set to appear in court soon after his extradition from the Bahamas last week, Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal troubles have only just begun.
— John McNally 🇬🇧 (@john_mcnally) December 27, 2022
While there is no love for him among Western colleagues and authorities, as well as FTX customers around the world who have been left out to dry, Sam Bankman-Fried is remembered fondly in the Bahamas, the Caribbean nation where he spent the last year, according to a new report by The New York Times.
New York Times contributor, Royston Jones Jr. spoke to residents of the Bahamas and of the island near the capital Nassau, where Bankman-Fried had lived in opulence prior to his arrest by Bahamian authorities and subsequent extradition to the United States.
The respondents, which included a school administrator from the capital, an elderly painter, a Burger King delivery driver, and an elder at a local church, to name a few, all viewed Bankman-Fried with sympathy, with some suggesting that he was a good person, and many wondering why he was facing jail time for seemingly minor crimes.
According to the report, Bankman-Fried’s reputation on the island nation is colored by his many significant donations to a number of indigent charities, many millions of dollars, as well as the economic boost brought about by his presence and championing of cryptocurrency from the very shores of the nation.
It is thus no surprise that there is quiet love for the man among residents who mostly, due to crypto regulations in the Bahamas, may not have held funds in the now-bankrupt exchange in the first place.
Trouble began for FTX last year, when the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), created the FUD wave that exposed the exchange’s shallow foundations. CZ sold his stake in FTX for FTT tokens, then publicly announced a distrust of FTX and that he would be selling the tokens. The response was a rush from other customers to sell FTT tokens and a dive in price.
Trouble multiplied when FTX reserves were discovered to be insufficient to cover withdrawals, and the exchange became bankrupt in November. The subsequent investigation by the SEC revealed a fraudulent incestuous relationship between FTX and SBF-founded trading company, Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried was arrested on December 12 by Bahamian authorities and charged by the SEC the next day. He is currently at his parents’ home in California, on bail, and awaiting trial for charges of wire fraud, all of which he has continued to deny.