October 10, 2023 at 10:32 GMTModified date: October 10, 2023 at 10:32 GMT
October 10, 2023 at 10:32 GMT

Cardano founder compares SBF to Bernie Madoff

Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson has drawn parallels between Sam Bankman-Fried and Bernie Madoff, who was responsible for the largest known ponzi scheme.

Cardano founder compares SBF to Bernie Madoff

Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano, has drawn a comparison between former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and Bernie Madoff, who is recognised as the orchestrator of the largest Ponzi scheme in US history. 

In a post on social media app X, Hoskinson also criticised the media, accusing them of turning a blind eye and giving Bankman-Fried an undeserved “free pass”.

New insights from the ongoing multi-billion dollar criminal trial against Bankman-Fried have exposed his extravagant PR expenses. He allegedly spent millions in a bid to cultivate his positive public image.

Hoskinson’s SBF post

Hoskinson took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) on 9 October to voice his concerns about the media’s positive treatment of Bankman-Fried. He especially called out Michael Lewis’ new book on SBF, titled Going Infinite, which he described as an “apology tour”. According to Hoskinson, the book seems to be an attempt by some in influential circles to seek public forgiveness for SBF.

“Looking at Michael Lewis’s dumpster fire of a book, there seems to be a group of people in the elite circles who desperately want to somehow get a public exoneration for SBF. We saw this with the kid gloves treatment by the New York times and now a book that’s basically an apology tour,” he posted on the social media app.

The Cardano founder added: “It’s extraordinary to me that the Bernie Madoff of my generation is getting a free pass by the media. It really does show you how profoundly corrupt things have become especially if you have the right friends.”

Bernie Madoff ran the largest confirmed Ponzi scheme in history, with losses estimated at a staggering $64.8billion. Madoff had successfully deceived countless investors over decades, presenting himself as a reputable figure. 

He died in prison at age 82 in 2021, while he was serving a 150-year sentence for multiple criminal charges including money laundering and securities fraud.

SBF’s ongoing trial

Sam Bankman-Fried is currently on trial, facing seven charges of conspiracy and fraud related to the fall of the FTX exchange, which resulted in significant financial losses for investors. 

The former FTX CEO has pleaded not guilty to all the charges put against him, with his central argument putting the blame on legal advice he received. If he receives the maximum sentences for all charges, SBF could be facing up to 115 years in prison.

Testimonies from the first week of the trial have already shed light on several key details. Alameda Research, a hedge firm founded by SBF, allegedly had a discreet pathway into FTX, which enabled the unauthorized transfer of customers’ funds as early as 2019.

Further information from the trial revealed Bankman-Fried’s extensive PR expenditures, which were aimed at building a favourable public image.

Reports suggest that he allocated millions on PR initiatives, including collaborations with well-known personalities such as Tom Brady and Kevin O’Leary. 

Other reported expenses include the charter of private jets, Super Bowl advertising slots, and potential political donations. A segment from Lewis’s book also suggests that Bankman-Fried contemplated offering $5 billion to Donald Trump in exchange for not running for office.

The jury is next set to hear from Caroline Ellison, the ex-CEO at Alamada and former romantic partner of Bankman-Fried.