Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former CEO of FTX — the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange that was worth $32 billion a few weeks ago — has a real knack for self-promotional PR. For years, he cast himself in the likeness of a young boy genius turned business titan, capable of miraculously growing his crypto empire as other players got wiped out. Everyone from Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists to A-list celebrities bought the act.
But during Bankman-Fried’s press junket of the last few weeks, the onetime wunderkind has spun a new narrative – one in which he was simply an inexperienced and novice businessman who was out of his depth, didn’t know what he was doing, and crucially, didn’t know what was happening at the businesses he founded.
It is quite the departure from the image he had carefully cultivated since launching his first crypto firm in 2017 – and according to former federal prosecutors, trial attorneys and legal experts speaking to CNBC, it recalls a classic legal defense dubbed the “bad businessman strategy.”
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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