This article has been republished with permission from Binance News.
According to CoinDesk, Sam Bankman-Fried, the former crypto titan, had several meetings with New York’s top political and financial power brokers before FTX’s collapse and his subsequent arrest. Despite living in the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried frequently visited New York City in 2022, as revealed by an FBI agent’s testimony during his trial. Special Agent Richard Busick presented a series of meetups, likely to demonstrate how Bankman-Fried’s alleged crimes took place in New York City.
Bankman-Fried’s schedule included a photoshoot with Forbes, meetings with Saudi Arabia’s finance minister Khalid A. Al-Falih, and the head of its sovereign wealth fund, Yasir Al-Rumayyan. His personal assistant, Natalie Tien, managed his appointments, as described in Michael Lewis’ book ‘Going Infinite.’
In March 2022, Bankman-Fried had dinner with New York City Mayor Eric Adams at Osteria La Baia, an Italian restaurant near the Museum of Modern Art. The mayor’s public schedule showed a ‘Hold for Mayor’ meeting on March 3, 2022, at 8:30 p.m. ET, but did not provide details of the attendees. In September 2022, Bankman-Fried was scheduled to meet New York Governor Kathy Hochul at The Capital Grille steakhouse.
The emails presented by prosecutors highlighted the high demand for Bankman-Fried before his downfall. Thirty-two different funds, including those of George Soros and Morgan Stanley, requested access to a group dinner with the crypto wunderkind.
Mayor Adams is known for his interest in cryptocurrency. His first mayoral paycheck was denominated in bitcoin and ether, although he was paid in U.S. dollars, which were immediately converted into BTC and ETH. Adams has expressed his desire to make New York City a crypto hub. The mayor’s press office did not respond to CoinDesk’s call for comment.