A former U.S. prosecutor compared the FTX scandal to one of the worst frauds in history after at least $1 billion in client money vanished.
“This FTX fraud is going to make Enron look like peanuts,” Guy Lewis said on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” Thursday.
Lewis also predicted that when all is said and done, FTX is going to be exposed as a criminal enterprise.
“This case is [going to] be billions and billions of dollars of embezzlement and money laundering and pure theft,” he said.
Lewis was not the only one who saw parallels between the collapse of FTX and the Enron scandal. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said that “people have compared this to Lehman. I would compare it to Enron,” in comments to Bloomberg’s Wall Street Week.
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Enron declared bankruptcy in 2001, making it, at the time, the world’s largest corporate bankruptcy. Just over 20 years later, FTX filed for bankruptcy in a dramatic fall from grace from the third-largest crypto exchange.
Lewis said that while there were “legitimate questions” on cryptocurrency “when it’s used to launder proceeds of various crimes,” that’s not the whole story.
“I’ll tell you this: The hypocrisy stinks to high heaven when you see these clips of Maxine Waters embracing Bankman-Fried and then the next day condemning him for all the money he’s spending on political causes,” Lewis said.
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Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has come under fire after a video emerged of her blowing a kiss and waving to Bankman-Fried in Dec. 2021. Less than a year later, Bankman-Fried’s multi-billion crypto empire collapsed after he was accused of defrauding investors.
Breakthrough Institute founder Michael Shellenberger reminded Twitter users that “Bankman-Fried was the 2nd largest donor to both President Joe Biden in 2020 and to Democrats in 2022, after George Soros. After Bankman-Fried testified in May to a Congressional committee chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), she blew him a kiss.”
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Lewis was also asked for his reaction to a recent exchange between Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and “Shark Tank” host Kevin O’Leary.
When Warren asked O’Leary whether “the potential benefits of crypto are so promising” that America should accept weaker “anti-money laundering rules,” O’Leary shot down the senator’s question.
“No, I think we should apply the same regulatory structure that we apply to existing trading,” he replied.
The “Shark Tank” star also rejected the premise of the Senator’s question entirely.
“I take issue, Senator, with your concept that it makes it easier to do money laundering. Currencies have been used for drug trafficking since the ‘60s when the American dollar was thrown out of an aircraft in a duffel bag.”
Lewis pointed out: “There are actually legitimate questions I think we can ask each other about regulation and how easily cryptocurrency is being used to launder proceeds of various crimes. ”
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