The S.E.C. complaint against Sam Bankman-Fried—whose name, it seems, will be uttered on Wall Street with the same inflection as Madoff’s—is unlikely anything that I have ever seen. Allegations of massive impropriety are buried in nearly every one of its nearly 100 paragraphs. Tonight, I highlight some of the document’s most eye-popping moments, and consider where this dramatic affair will rank in the halls of business infamy.
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In short, the S.E.C. is alleging that S.B.F. out-Madoffed Madoff, who at least had the decency to keep his market-making operations on the 19th floor of the Lipstick Building, separate from his money management Ponzi scheme two floors below. S.B.F. mixed them all together.
The recently concluded S.B.F. apology tour was so spectacularly ill-advised, both from a legal and public relations perspective, that I’ve been at a loss to comprehend it, let alone explain it. Until yesterday. That’s when I read the 14-page indictment, courtesy of the Southern District of New York, which accused S.B.F. of eight crimes, ranging from several different varieties of wire fraud to several different varieties of conspiracy. On the last page of the indictment came the answer for which I’ve been searching...