Former crypto boss Sam Bankman-Fried is really, really screwed.
Last night, a New York jury found the disgraced CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX guilty on all seven charges, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to launder money. He's now facing over 100 years in prison.
And while many were able to predict his fate, other high-profile figures were dead wrong about whether he'd face justice.
Case in point is Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who predicted just under a year ago — around the time the exchange collapsed in on itself — that due to Bankman-Fried's donations to the Democratic party, there would be "no investigation."
The tweet exemplifies Musk's continuous slide toward the right, as well as a growing willingness to engage with and further conspiracy theories. And at the heart of it, isn't his whole thing supposed to be predicting the future?
To be clear, Musk wasn't wrong about Bankman-Fried's political affiliations. The crypto baron made numerous well-documented donations to Democratic committees and candidates. He spent around $40 million during the 2022 election cycle and around $6 million on a PAC that supported Biden's 2020 campaign.
But Musk was dead wrong about what those political affiliations would mean for Bankman-Fried.
That's probably not surprising. Especially ever since he's taken over Twitter, Musk has been engaging with right-wing commentators, making personal attacks aimed at Democrats, and spreading baseless conspiracy theories about the left singling him out. He's long complained about a "woke mind virus" infecting the masses, which makes about as much sense as it sounds like.
But instead of Democrats conspiring together to let Bankman-Fried off the hook, like Musk predicted, pretty much the opposite happened.
Regulators are making a huge example of Bankman-Fried, sending a clear warning to the crypto community that defrauding investors will always be a crime, whether it's wrapped up in a pseudo-philanthropic guise or not.
And that couldn't be more relevant these days, with the Biden administration still actively debating how to regulate an industry that has long been known to play things a little fast and loose.
To his credit, Musk does seem to have had the right hunch about Bankman-Fried's questionable business practices early on. In Walter Isaacson's recently published Musk biography, the mercurial CEO recalled how he rejected Bankman-Fried's request to join his bid to buy Twitter, in which SBF suggested that Twitter's tech could be moved onto a blockchain.
"My bullshit detector went off like a red alert on a Geiger counter," Musk told Isaacson.
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