Crypto Billionaire SBF Now Facing Up to 110 Years in Prison - The Friday AM Quickie 11/3/23

As promised, some exciting news: Esteemed journalist and author Jacob Silverman joins the AM Quickie starting with Monday's edition. Jacob's latest book, Easy Money, about the crypto industry, is a New York Times bestseller. Big welcome! - Corey

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Crypto Kingpin Convicted of 'One of the Biggest Financial Frauds in American History'

First, let me say, I wish Jacob was on newsletter duty already because he literally wrote the book on the cryptocurrency con, hosts a podcast about this particular fraudster, and has been covering the trial at hand.

Second, allow me to say this: Scam Bank Man-Fraud.

Third, to those of you who bought in to cryptocurrencies on the advice of paid celebrity endorsers or online day traders, may I ask that you contact me privately? I have an exclusive and lucrative opportunity to discuss. Act now, time is limited!

Following a trial in which his former subordinates, roommates and girlfriend testified against him, a jury yesterday convicted one-time twenty-something billionaire, prolific "dark money" political donor, self-proclaimed altruist and coddled megalomaniac Sam Bankman Fried of all seven fraud and conspiracy charges against him. SBF's crypto company, FTX, fleeced billions of dollars from thousands of people. They ran Superbowl ads for godsake! By the prosecution's count, the purported genius responded "I can't recall" 140 times under cross-examination. The jury took only four hours to reach its verdict. In his victory lap outside the courthouse, top Manhattan federal prosecutor Damian Williams called the FTX scam one of the biggest frauds in American history. Per the New York Times:

"The crypto industry might be new," he said. "But this kind of fraud, this kind of corruption, is as old as time."

Indeed. It would be nice to hear someone in government point out that while SBF's crimes were egregious and well-documented, crypto itself is the con. Fortunately, as Politico reports, more big cases targeting the industry are in the pipeline. Unfortunately, big players in tech and finance will surely bankroll the Next Big Scam just as they did with crypto, because we live in a country full of temporarily embarrassed capitalists, where billionaire con artists get hyped up as future trillionaires so long as the checks clear, never mind the details.

SBF's pedigree was impeccable. His parents, you may recall, are Stanford University law professors. "Whatever delusions they may have had about their son's innocence dissipated over the course of the trial," The Verge's trial reporter observes. "By the end, I think they knew how this was going to go. I think Bankman-Fried did too." Ah, well, it's sad for the family, I guess, but let's not forget they benefited handsomely from their beloved son's con. Or, as such things are known in Silicon Valley, his world-changing innovation.

FBI Raids Home of Eric Adams' Key Fundraiser

Looks like we might have to start calling New York City's Mayor-Cop the Mayor-CROOK! The New York Times has the scoop:

Federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. are conducting a broad public corruption investigation into whether Mayor Eric Adams's 2021 election campaign conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations, according to a search warrant...
The investigation burst into public view on Thursday when federal agents conducted an early-morning raid at the Brooklyn home of the mayor's chief fund-raiser, Brianna Suggs.

Adams scuttled a trip to Washington, DC to complain about immigrants and hurried home to instead, as his office put it, "deal with a matter." The warrant suggests his campaign employed an illegal "straw donor" scheme, and potential charges could include "the theft of federal funds and conspiracy to steal federal funds, wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, as well as campaign contributions by foreign nationals and conspiracy to make such contributions." Suggs, 25, started working for Adams as an intern six years ago, and is the goddaughter of Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Adams' chief adviser at City Hall, according to the New York Daily News. "Drip, drip, drip, drop," quips one New York progressive organizer.

Israeli Troops Encircle Gaza City

  • 13 Democratic Senators Call for 'a Short-Term Cessation of Hostilities' The first to explicitly call for a cease-fire was Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who, way back in 1982, "was the first successful recruit of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC, to beat an incumbent." via NBC News, the Intercept and HuffPost.
  • 'Nothing Will Stop Us,' Netanyahu Vows as UNICEF Warns 'Gaza Has Become a Graveyard for Children' The IDF is sharing no details about the invasion and journalists' access to Gaza is limited, but "interviews with residents, experts and Israeli soldiers, as well as videos and satellite imagery from the battlefield, point to a growing, bloody operation on several fronts." via the Associated Press, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
  • 'It Feels Like the Trump Era Again,' Say Sidelined State Department Experts Who Fear Blacklisting Career civil servants say White House messaging concerns are driving policy, and State's human rights experts have been encouraged "to shift their focus away from Israel-Palestine." via HuffPost.
  • Biden Plans to Veto House GOP Bill Giving $14.3 Billion to Israel's Military, Without Funding Ukraine War or Gaza Aid The bill is dead on arrival in the Senate anyway; House Republicans also passed a resolution attacking "hate-filled college students [who] have no shame and no fear," as its sponsor, Utah Rep. Burgess Owens, put it. via the AP and Politico.


  • Confronted with Evidence of His Involvement, Eric Trump Reverses His Testimony in New York Fraud Trial Meanwhile, Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith's team warned Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon not to be "manipulated," noting that Donald Trump has an "overriding interest" in delaying both of his criminal trials "at any cost" – preferably past Nov. 2024. via Politico and NBC News.
  • FTC: Amazon Destroyed Evidence About Its Secret Algorithm to Jack Up Prices The Federal Trade Commission claims Amazon's price-fixing "Project Nessie" tool generated more than $1 billion in excess profits. via the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal.
  • Small-Town Alabama Journalists Charged with Felonies for Covering Local Grand Jury "If the Nixon administration couldn't imprison journalists who printed the Pentagon Papers, the Alabama D.A. can't imprison journalists for writing stories about the Atmore, Alabama, school board," says Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute. via the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Atmore News.
  • 1 of 5 Memphis Cops Charged in Tyre Nichols' Killing Takes a Plea Deal, May Testify Against Others "This was really the first time I actually heard somebody tell and say what they actually did to my son," Nichols's mother, RowVaughn Wells, said after Desmond Mills Jr. pleaded guilty yesterday. via the Times and the Tennessean.



That's the minimum number of schools, medical facilities, libraries and other institutions that have faced bomb threats, death threats, and harassment directly inspired by Brooklyn bigot Chaya Raichik's hateful social media account, Libs of TikTok, according to USA Today and Media Matters. "It's possible that some of these bomb threats were not even real bomb threats, you know," Raichik responds, saying her victims "want to become famous."


11/3: It's Casual Friday! Beyond that, I cannot say.


Tim Pool Is an Israel-Palestine Expert Now

More like the DimCast amirite?

Netanyahu Planning to Redraw the Map?

Sam and Emma speak with Ilan Pappe, professor of history at the University of Exeter and director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies, instead of Tim Pool for some reason.


"I gaslit?"

-- Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips, inviting attendees at an "unconventional" New Hampshire town hall promoting his vainglorious primary challenge to President Joe Biden to weigh in on his behavior. "You did," they responded. As the Washington Post reports, Phillips took to arguing with several potential supporters who questioned his stance on the Israel-Gaza war, and "the event devolved into a shouting match."

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