Sam Bankman-Fried Met with Senior Biden Aide Prior to FTX Collapse – What Did They Discuss?
Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried met with senior officials at the White House on at least four occasions prior to the collapse of FTX, White House visitor logs have revealed.
The last of the four meetings was reportedly held on September 8 between Sam Bankman-Fried – better known as SBF – and Steve Ricchetti, a senior adviser to President Joe Biden. The last meeting has not been publicly known until now.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg on Thursday, citing sources inside the White House “familiar with the situation.”
In addition to the September meeting with Ricchetti, Bankman-Fried was at the White House at least three other times in 2022, according to previously disclosed visitor logs. The first of these meetings took place on April 22, while the next ones happened on May 12 and May 13. The first two was held with Ricchetti, and the last was with Bruce Reed, another senior aide to President Biden.
Others, including SBF’s brother Gabriel Bankman-Fried and other FTX representatives, have also attended meetings at the White House, the visitor logs showed. The meetings reportedly focused on the crypto industry, crypto exchanges, as well as global health and pandemic prevention.
Gabriel Bankman-Fried leads Guarding Against Pandemics, an advocacy group dedicated to preventing the next pandemic.
Politics not discussed
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of Bloomberg’s sources said politics was not discussed at any of the White House meetings. The source did not comment on whether donations or crypto regulation was discussed at the meetings.
Bankman-Fried is known as a major donor to the Democratic party, and has been a public champion for issues ranging from climate change to global health. Following the collapse of his exchange, however, he admitted that he had also donated to Republican politicians, but that these donations were “dark.”
In an interview with crypto influencer Tiffany Fong from November, SBF explained the reason for why he kept his Republican donation secret:
“The reason was not for regulatory reasons, it’s because reporters freak the fuck out if you donate to Republicans.”
Alameda wallets see movements
As the news of SBF’s White House meetings came out, blockchain data also showed unusual movements from multiple wallets controlled by Bankman-Fried’s trading firm Alameda Research.
According to a report from data analyst Martin Lee at on-chain analysis platform Nansen, more than thousand ETH tokens were sent from wallets controlled by Alameda, before they were consolidated into fresh wallets, and sent to the crypto swapping services ChangeNow and FixedFloat.
Additionally, more than 700k LDO tokens were swapped for 601 ETH, and some 200,000 USDT tokens from one Alameda wallet was used to purchase 11.9 sBTC via Curve Finance's Synth Swap, before later being swapped to 10.336 renBTC.
The 10.336 renBTC was then redeemed for BTC, Nansen’s analyst wrote.
It’s important to note that there is no evidence that the transfers were made by SBF, and that they could have been made by other people with access to Alameda’s wallets.
SBF is currently staying at his parents’ home in California on a $250m bail.