Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried met with senior White House officials on multiple occasions in 2022. Sources said politics was not discussed at the meeting and that conversations focused on the crypto industry, exchanges, and pandemic prevention.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the defunct crypto exchange FTX, reportedly met with government officials at the White House at least four times in 2022, including once just two months before the collapse of his crypto empire.
Most of the meetings were listed in the White House’s monthly visitor logs, which showed that Sam Bankman-Fried did meet with Counselor to the President Steve Ricchetti on Apr. 22 and May 12, 2022, and with policy advisor Charlotte Butash on May 13.
However, according to a report, the former FTX CEO had also met with President’s counselor Ricchette on Sept. 8, in a meeting that did not appear on the visitor logs.
The revelation has piqued the interest of the crypto community, who are keen to know what could have possibly prompted so many meetings between FTX and the White House.
Politics played no role in the meetings
Since the implosion of FTX, its ties to Washington have come under scrutiny. Sam Bankman-Fried had contributed millions of dollars to the Democratic Party, making him the party’s second-largest individual donor for the 2022 election cycle.
However, according to the report, sources indicated that politics were not discussed at the meeting and that discussions centered on the cryptocurrency industry, exchanges, and pandemic preparedness.
Despite residing in the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried is known to have visited Washington on a regular basis in order to influence crypto policy and make connections. He was previously accused of attempting to steer regulators away from centralized exchanges like FTX and toward decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms like lending protocol MakerDAO.
The former billionaire frequently advocated for greater crypto regulation and promoted himself and his firms as ethical actors in the crypto space.
In contrast, recent allegations by US prosecutors paint a very different picture, alleging multiple acts of wrongdoing, such as misusing billions of dollars in customer funds lent to FTX’s sister company Alameda Research and colluding with others to use corporate money and shadow donors for political contributions.