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Who is Sam Bankman-Fried: Former 'Crypto King' Facing Fraud Trial?

Sam Bankman-Fried, known as SBF, went from crypto king to a courtroom defendant as he faces trial for fraud beginning on October 3, 2023. The 31-year-old's journey from financial success to a legal battle for freedom is marked by a fascinating background:

Who is Sam Bankman-Fried: Former 'Crypto King' Facing Fraud Trial?

Early Life:

  • Born and raised in California's affluent San Francisco Bay area.

  • Attended a prestigious $56,000-a-year school.

  • Both parents were professors at Stanford Law School.

  • Graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a major in physics and a minor in math in 2014.

Values and Lifestyle:

  • Maintained the values of an alcohol-free, community-oriented lifestyle from college.

  • Known as a vegan and teetotaler.

  • Actively engaged in animal rights activism.

  • Adopted the philosophy of "effective altruism," focusing on earning to give back to charity.

Entry into Crypto:

  • Left his job at quantitative trading firm Jane Street to enter the world of cryptocurrency.

  • Co-founded cryptocurrency trading firm Alameda Research.

  • Founded FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that became immensely successful.

Financial Success:

  • At one point, Forbes listed him as "the richest twentysomething in the world" with a net worth of $22.5 billion.

  • Owned luxury properties, including a waterfront penthouse in the Bahamas.

Relationship and Legal Troubles:

  • Had an on-again, off-again relationship with Caroline Ellison, who also joined Alameda Research.

  • Ellison assumed control of Alameda Research and pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

  • Bankman-Fried faced legal trouble for allegedly sharing Ellison's personal writings with a reporter.

Political Involvement:

  • Among the largest donors to Democratic candidates and causes, including Joe Biden in the 2020 election cycle.

  • Accused of using $100 million in stolen FTX deposits for political donations.

Fraud Charges:

  • Faces seven charges of fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of FTX.

  • Prosecutors allege he looted funds from FTX customers for personal use.

  • Pleaded not guilty to the charges, admitting to risk management failures.

The trial in Manhattan is expected to last up to six weeks.

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