At least four times in 2022, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried visited with government representatives at the White House, including one meeting that apparently took place only two months before his crypto company collapsed.
Most of the encounters were made public in visitor logs, which the White House posts every month. According to the records, Bankman-Fried met with Counselor to the President Steve Ricchetti on April 22 and May 12, as well as policy adviser Charlotte Butash on May 13.
However, a Dec. 29 Bloomberg article claims that the former FTX CEO additionally had a meeting with the president’s counselor Ricchette on Sept. 8 that was not recorded in the visitor logs.
Crypto community reacts to former FTX CEO visits
Members of the crypto industry are interested in the disclosure and want to know why there appeared to be a such frequent exchange of visits between FTX and the White House.
“Prior to the 2022 midterm elections, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly held four meetings at the White House. Biden needs to give an explanation for why his administration met with SBF, a crypto fraudster, so frequently.”
According to the Bloomberg story, sources indicated that the meeting’s discussions were centered on the cryptocurrency sector, exchanges, and pandemic preparedness rather than politics.
Bankman-Fried, who now resides in the Bahamas, is known to have frequented Washington as part of his efforts to shape crypto policy and establish contacts. Previously, he was charged with trying to steer regulators away from centralized exchanges like FTX and toward decentralized finance (Defi) systems like the lending protocol MakerDAO.
In an interview with crypto YouTuber Tiffany Fong on November 16, Bankman-Fried, a large Democratic donor, acknowledged that he had given roughly the same amount to both parties, but that his “Republican donations were dark.”