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Sam Bankman-Fried's Ties to the Clintons Helped Mislead Investors

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Sam Bankman-Fried has cultivated ties to celebrities, politicians and A-list investors – but one power couple in particular has been key to raising his profile in wealthy and influential circles.

Bill Clinton was paid around $250,000 when he spoke at the FTX CEO’s Bahamas Crypto Conference in April, sources tell The Post. At the over-the-top tropical ball, the former US President along with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair were pictured onstage alongside Bankman-Fried, who appeared wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

Shortly thereafter, Bill and Hillary Clinton invited 30-year-old Bankman-Fried – known as “SBF” in crypto circles – to speak at their annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York – an effective endorsement from the former FTX CEO who played a key role important. key role in raising his reputation among politicians and wealthy investors, insiders tell The Post.

On the Clinton Foundation website, Bankman-Fried’s photograph is placed alongside the likes of Matt Damon, Gavin Newson, Melinda French Gates and Larry Fink as a speaker at the September party. He is also mentioned as a speaker in an article on the website leading up to the event.

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to speak at the Sam Bankman-Fried conference.
Getty Images

In the past year, Bankman-Fried — who lived full-time in the Bahamas before being extradited to the United States in December — has spoken mostly at conferences virtually.

Asked for comment on the event, a spokesperson for the Clintons responded, “SBF has never been on the CGI stage — in person or virtually.”

People close to the Clintons say the power couple’s relationship with the scruffy 30-year-old cryptocurrency executive follows a familiar script: edgy business leaders gain credibility by attaching themselves to the Clintons — and in return, the Clintons get a check.

“The Clintons’ involvement gave the SBF some air cover,” a former confidant told The Post.

clinton global
Sam Bankman-Fried was listed as a speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative in September.

For those who bought FTX stock, it was a painful journey, with the top 50 of the bankrupt company’s 1 million creditors owing $3.1 billion, according to court documents. This week, FTX’s new management said it intends to recoup tens of millions of dollars in political donations made by Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives.

In response, many beneficiaries of Bankman-Fried’s money returned everything. Political action committees, such as the Senate Majority Democratic PAC, have pledged to return millions. Beto O’Rourke’s Texas gubernatorial campaign returned $1 million, while Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and new House Speaker Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) gave their FTX donations to charity.

The Clintons, on the other hand, remained silent. Legal experts say Clinton’s fee is unlikely to be recovered, but critics say it is inappropriate to hold on to the money when thousands of people have lost pensions and savings at the hands of Bankman-Fried.

SBF
Bankman-Fried attended Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles alongside many top celebrity names.
Instagram/Michael Kives

“I don’t think every public figure should return every dollar from every tainted source, but it’s obviously wrong to hold onto the money that the orchestrator of a Ponzi scheme paid to lend their credibility,” Jeff Hauser, founder and director of the Revolving Door Project, a progressive group that examines money and corruption in politics, he told The Post.

“They should apologize and refund the money now,” another source told The Post. “It will only get more confusing.”

Bill Clinton was paid north of $250,000 when he spoke at the FTX CEO's Crypto Bahamas Conference in April.
Bill Clinton was paid north of $250,000 when he spoke at the FTX CEO’s Crypto Bahamas Conference in April.
Twitter/Dan Keeler

Sources tell the Post that it was former Hollywood agent Michael Kives, who served as an adviser to both Bill and Hillary Clinton, who helped connect the two. Kives — who now runs a venture firm called K5 Global — raised $300 million last year from FTX’s now-defunct investment arm, Alameda Research, according to reports.

Kives declined to comment. A lawyer for Bankman-Fried did not respond to a request for comment.

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Bill Clinton received around $250,000 when he spoke at the SBF Crypto Bahamas Conference.
FilmMagic

It’s not the first time the Clintons have been involved with accused fraudsters like Bankman-Fried. In 2015, they became involved with famed Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at the Clinton Global Initiative, where Bill interviewed the convicted fraudster about the future of equality and opportunity.

Holmes even got ready to organize a fundraiser for Hilary’s 2016 presidential campaign — more than five months after a blockbuster story in the Wall Street Journal broke allegations of wrongdoing. It was canceled days before.

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