After a month-long trial, it took a jury just four hours to find FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of all seven criminal fraud counts against him. The maximum penalty for the charges is 115 years in prison.
On Friday’s show, Megyn was joined by Adam Carolla, host of The Adam Carolla Show, to discuss the verdict and why the media is at least partially to blame for Bankman-Fried’s meteoric rise and fall.
SBF Found Guilty
Bankman-Fried, the 31-year-old founder and former CEO of FTX, was convicted of seven criminal fraud counts – including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering – by a jury of nine women and three men. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges that all stemmed from the 2022 collapse of FTX and sister hedge fund Alameda.
The conviction ends the trial that saw a trio of SBF’s once top deputies, including his former girlfriend Caroline Ellison, testify against him. They claimed SBF was the mastermind of the fraud. Bankman-Fried also took the stand himself in an effort to convince the jury that he had made mistakes but didn’t intentionally defraud customers.
According to reports, SBF sat stone-faced as the verdict was read. His parents, Stanford professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, broke down in tears behind him. While the charges carry a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison, Bankman-Fried is expected to receive somewhere between 10 and 40 years based on federal sentencing guidelines. Sentencing is scheduled for March 28, 2024, though he is expected to appeal.
Bankman-Fried’s fall from grace was as swift as his rise. After founding FTX in 2019, SBF became a darling of the left for his ‘effective altruism.’ Bankman-Fried appeared frequently on Capitol Hill to push for more oversight of the crypto industry and donated over $40 million to various Democrat-aligned super PACs and organizations in the 2022 election cycle.
He also spent lavishly on marketing, securing the naming rights of the venue the Miami Heat play at and paying celebrities like Tom Brady, Larry David, and Gisele Bündchen to promote FTX. In Carolla’s view, SBF is just the latest darling to let down the left, much in the way Harvey Weinstein and Michael Avanatti did.
But, as Megyn pointed out, his ‘celebrity’ extended to the media as well. She played a Grabien supercut of the reporters, anchors, and commentators at CNBC singing his praises.
“Where’s your skepticism? Where is your natural dislike for people in authority? That’s how our profession, journalism, was built,” she said. What was once a working class industry of “dudes who are shoving dimes into phones to try to get their connections to spill dirt on corrupt politicians and a–holes like Sam Bankman-Fried,” she explained, is now just another arm of the elite. “They just want access to the power,” Megyn said. “They want to be part of the crew.”
Ultimately, it shows just how far journalism has fallen. “You need to have a healthy disdain for the people in power you are covering,” Megyn concluded. “Their failure to do it at CNBC, in this instance, and across the board when it comes to politicians on both sides is part of the problem that we’re facing right now.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Carolla by tuning in to episode 662 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.