S.B.F. Informants & a Strange DeSantis Bedfellow

At a high level, Reid Hoffman doesn’t view the Florida governor as an existential threat to democracy, unlike Trump, and believes he may even have the ability to successfully govern.
At a high level, Reid Hoffman doesn’t view the Florida governor as an existential threat to democracy, unlike Trump, and believes he may even have the ability to successfully govern. Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch
Theodore Schleifer
March 21, 2023

Who knew what, and when? In the aftermath of FTX cofounder Nishad Singh’s guilty plea, the haze of paranoia surrounding Sam Bankman-Fried’s former associates has narrowed to that simple question. Last month, with Singh’s cooperation, federal prosecutors unveiled new details of S.B.F.’s alleged straw-donor scheme, depicting a sophisticated and highly choreographed endeavor wherein Bankman-Fried effectively embezzled tens of millions of dollars in customer deposits to Singh and another FTX executive, co-C.E.O. Ryan Salame, to make political contributions in their names. Is it really possible that not a single person who handled political donations for the three crypto billionaires knew anything about it?

That might strain credulity, at first blush. But it has been the position of nearly all of my sources inside S.B.F.’s operation since FTX’s downfall in November: that the people involved in the Bankman-Fried family influence machine were merely stewards dispersing checks, not people with intimate knowledge of misconduct at FTX, Alameda Research, or financial arrangements between Sam’s C-suite. Now, as federal prosecutors distinguish between so-called witnesses, subjects, and targets in the S.B.F. investigation, we’ll see if those claims withstand legal scrutiny, too.