CZ, Shaq and ‘Unethical Shit’: Twitter DMs Examined in Sam Bankman-Fried Trial

Sam Bankman-Fried’s controversial Twitter direct messages were examined today in court, with everything from NBA star Shaquille O’Neal to the crypto mogul’s apparently lax approach to regulation getting a mention.

“Fuck regulators,” one message read out in court said. “They make everything worse.”

Another series of Twitter DMs showed the disgraced crypto boss telling a reporter from Vox media outlet that he’d said “dumb shit.”

In another thread, Bankman-Fried was quizzed on when he previously said how one shouldn’t do “unethical shit” in the crypto business. He replied, “heh,” and admitted that it wasn’t really what he believed.

The court also heard Bankman-Fried question how ethical Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao—or CZ—really was in the DMs.

“Now he’s a hero,” Sam Bankman-Fried said via the messages, noting that CZ would previously talk about ethics in the crypto industry. “Is it because he’s virtuous or because he had a bigger balance sheet, and so he won.”

Bankman-Fried is facing seven criminal charges after his behemoth crypto brand FTX last year collapsed.

The ex-CEO and co-founder of the massive FTX brand used to talk about how he was ethical—but messages observed today show he largely dismissed regulators and made things up.

Basketball legend Shaq was also mentioned in the Manhattan courtroom today: FTX paid nearly $750,000 to the former NBA star as part of a marketing deal with the failed crypto firm, according to a lawsuit last month.

Sam Bankman-Fried, who rubbed shoulders with the rich and powerful, denies any wrongdoing; prosecutors allege he criminally mismanaged the exchange and comingled funds.

Earlier today, financial statement analysis and professor of accounting Peter Easton told the court that back in 2021 during the height of the crypto bull run, FTX customers thought their balances were around $20 billion in digital assets when really they stood at $5 billion.

Bankman-Fried’s trial is expected to last another four weeks.

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.

Leave a Comment