SBF Was Meeting With Senior White House Officials Shortly Before FTX Collapse

Bankman-Fried met Sept. 8 with Steve Ricchetti, one of President Joe Biden’s senior advisers, White House officials familiar with the matter said. The meeting, previously unreported, was the latest in a handful of sessions.

Bankman-Fried had at least three others previously disclosed in White House visitor logs. They include one April 22 and another May 12, each with Ricchetti, and one a day later, on May 13, with Bruce Reed, another senior Biden aide, officials confirmed. The final meeting is recorded in logs as two meetings held back-to-back, but was one meeting, officials said. Some of the previous White House meetings included others from FTX.

His brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, is recorded in a March meeting of his own and then took part in the May 13 session for a total of at least five this year that involved one or both of the brothers.

Sam Bankman-Fried, once a fixture in Washington, is now facing criminal charges for his role in the collapse of his crypto empire that’s left investors facing billions of dollars in potential losses.

A spokesman for Bankman-Fried declined to comment.

The brothers’ White House meetings focused on general discussion of the crypto industry and exchanges, as well as pandemic prevention related to the foundation, Guarding Against Pandemics, run by Gabe Bankman-Fried, an official said. The White House declined further comment.

FTX’s ties to Washington have come under scrutiny since the exchange’s collapse. Sam Bankman-Fried gave millions of dollars to Democrats, making him the party’s second-biggest individual donor in the 2022 election cycle. One of his former top lieutenants, Ryan Salame, was also a massive donor but backed Republicans.

One person familiar with the meetings, speaking on condition they not be identified, said that politics was not discussed at the White House meetings.


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