In China, Bankman-Fried's Bribery Is Called Bribery-- But Never When The Bribes Go To U.S. Officials
I’m not writing this post to report that federal prosecutors have added another charge onto the growing list of charges facing Sam Bankman-Fried— namely bribing one or more Chinese officials. Apparently he was willing to pay $40 million to get an Alameda account with a billion in cryptocurrency unfrozen— and it worked. Reuters reported that “After the accounts were unfrozen, Bankman-Fried authorized a transfer of tens of millions of dollars of additional cryptocurrency to complete the bribe, prosecutors said.”
He was charged for that in the U.S. because it falls under the Foreign Corrupt Business Practices Act. For SBF, this is another 13 counts filed against him, added to the securities fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations.
And that’s what I want to talk about. In the U.S., if you give an official money illegally, it’s called a “campaign finance violation.” If you give money to a foreign official it’s called what it is: “bribery.” Every report on the bribe to the Chinese official or officials yesterday used the word “bribery.” As you know, I’ve been following this case closely since the first day it broke. I have never seen a single mainstream media source refer to the $100 million or more in bribes SBF gave to American politicians as bribery. That way, no politicians get held accountable, not even this sack of crap, showing how slimy bribed politicians do oversight:
Millions of dollars were funneled in various ways into the campaigns of both Republicans and Democrats. The last time new charges were added onto SBF’s long list of charges it included allegations by the Southern District of New York that SBF made “unlawful political contributions to acquire bipartisan influence.” While he was publicly known as a super-donor for Democrats since 2020, prosecutors describe how SBF allegedly broke the law by routing customer funds through straw donors.
Some of the worst offenders in Congress included Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Chuy Garcia (D-IL), Katie Britt (R-AL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Brad Finstad (R-MN), John Boorman (R-AR), Maxwell Frost (D-FL), Erin Houchin (R-IN), Sydney Kamlager (D-CA), Eli Crane (R-AZ),Ted Budd (R-NC), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Glenn Ivey (D-MD), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Robert Garcia (D-CA), Eric Schmitt (R-MO) and, of course George Santos.
Bankman Fried is still holed up in his parents’ house instead of sitting in a jail cell, but because he tried a little witness tampering, the judge gave him a little slap on the wrist: “access to just two electronic devices: a phone without an internet connection, and a laptop that can visit just a small number of websites [like Doordash]. To make sure he complies, the devices will be equipped with monitoring software… The parents’ electronics must be password protected, and special software will take a photograph of the person using the devices every several minutes. If Bankman-Fried receives visitors at the house, those individuals will be screened with a handheld metal detector by a security guard to check for phones or other electronics.”