Mr Bankman-Fried was “investigating the legality” of the payment to Mr Trump to ensure he did not run in the 2020 election, according to a book about a crypto tycoon. Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images
Donald Trump was ready to drop out of the US presidential race for $5 billion, it was claimed.
Representatives The former president is said to have put the figure at $5 billion dollars (£4.1 billion) when they were approached by accused cryptocurrency fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried.
According to a new book, the founder of FTX “examined the legality” of bribing Trump to ensure he would not run in the 2020 election.
The claim was made in an excerpt from the book Going Infinite, written by author Michael Lewis, in which chronicles the rise and fall of Bankman-Fried.
Mr. Lewis, who also wrote the books “The Big Short” and “Moneyball,” spent more than two years talking to Mr. Bankman-Fried, 31. Fried, who became a billionaire after founding the cryptocurrency trading platform FTX.
“He explained to me that when the plane landed in Washington, he was looking into the legality of paying Donald Trump himself money not to run for president.” , the author wrote in an excerpt published by the Washington Post.
His team somehow created a back channel into Trump's operation and returned with the not-so-sensational news that Donald Trump might actually get his price: $5 billion. At least that's what his team told Sam.”
Michael Lewis spent more than two years talking to 31-year-old Bankman -Freedom about his new book. Photo: David Levenson/Getty Images Europe
Mr Lewis also claimed that Bankman-Fried planned to donate between $15 million and $30 million. I reached out to Republican Mitch McConnell in hopes that he would defeat Trump candidates in the U.S. Senate election.
Mr. Trump's representatives could not be reached for comment.
Other allegations in the book include a claim that Mr. Bankman-Fried lost $300 million on one trade at Jane Street Capital after wrongly betting that Mr. Trump's 2016 election would crash stock markets.
The excerpt was published in advance. the criminal trial of a former FTX executive began in New York on Monday, where he is accused of fraud and conspiracy in connection with the collapse of the business.
Mr. Bankman-Fried, once valued at $26 billion , is accused of stealing billions of dollars from client deposits and investing the money in risky bets at his personal crypto hedge fund Alameda Research, as well as real estate spending and political donations.
Mr. Bankman-Fried, known as SBF, was accused by U.S. federal prosecutors of funneling millions of dollars to Democratic Party candidates and causes. Donations totaling more than $39 million made him the party's second-largest individual donor in 2021-22.
G- n Bankman-Fried is accused of stealing billions of dollars from FTX client deposits. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The book's revelations shed new light on the internal culture of FTX, once one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
The business converted real-world currencies into digital tokens, allowing consumers to speculate on the rapidly changing prices of cryptocurrencies without the checks and balances of the real financial system.
Thieves and hackers allegedly stole “just over $1 billion” from the company last year just for for Mr. Bankman-Fried to call the criminals “people playing a game.”
In a document he sent to ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison, titled “ARGUMENTS AGAINST [getting into a relationship],” the CEO told her, “In many ways, I really don't have a soul.”
Also Funnel Tens million dollars to Democrats Mr Bankman-Fried also allegedly spent $10 million (£8.2 million) on a failed attempt to get a fellow believer in the “effective altruism” movement elected as a Democratic candidate for Congress.
< p>Effective altruism advocates for people with high incomes to give away their wealth for utilitarian purposes that benefit humanity as a whole.
The collapse of FTX in November 2022 left hundreds of thousands of people out of pocket, including about 80,000 Britons.
Mr Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He could not be reached for comment on the book's claims.
If the cryptocurrency founder is indicted on all charges, he faces a maximum penalty of 110 years in prison.