Disgraced crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried allegedly paid former President Bill Clinton roughly $250,000 to give a speech at his Crypto Bahamas Conference in April 2022, according to a Thursday report from the New York Post (NYP).
Bankman-Fried’s conference featured Clinton alongside other world leaders and top crypto executives. Not long after, Bill and Hillary Clinton invited Bankman-Fried to speak at the 2022 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September, the NYP reported.
— New York Post (@nypost) January 19, 2023
CGI is a philanthropic conference run by the Clinton Foundation. Bankman-Fried’s headshot is featured on the conference’s website next to other prominent names, such as New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Melinda French Gates. Bankman-Fried’s name was also included in a press release leading up to CGI.
“SBF [Sam Bankman-Fried] was never on stage at CGI,” a spokesperson for the Clintons told the NYP about the event. Bankman-Fried spoke at many conferences remotely from his Bahamas penthouse throughout 2022, according to the outlet.
The Clintons enabled Bankman-Fried to grow his reputation among prominent politicians and investors, the NYP reported. He was reportedly connected to the couple through former Clinton aide Michael Kives, whose venture capital fund, K5 Global, allegedly received a $300 million investment from Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried was the Democratic party’s seventh largest donor in the 2022 midterm election cycle, according to watchdog group OpenSecrets. He spent north of $37 million for Democrats in primaries and general elections and donated smaller sums to Republican campaigns, OpenSecrets shows. (RELATED: Media Startup Partially Funded By Sam Bankman-Fried Says It Will Return His Money)
Bankman-Fried was indicted by federal prosecutors Dec. 13 on eight counts of fraud and conspiracy. The charges include wire fraud, money laundering and campaign finance law violations related to misused customer funds by his crypto exchange FTX and Alameda Research.
The disgraced CEO was released from custody on a $250 million bond Dec. 22 and confined to his parents’ house in Palo Alto, California. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Jan. 3, and his trial is slated to begin Oct. 2, 2023.
Bankman-Fried’s net worth peaked at an estimated $26.5 billion and was measured at $17.2 billion as of Sept. 27, 2022, according to Forbes Magazine. His crypto fortune collapsed in November 2022 in the wake of allegations FTX and Alameda Research had misused customer funds.