Billionaire Bill Ackman has come forward to explain his sympathy toward Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX. The famed hedge fund manager is no stranger to investigations, having faced massive scrutiny in the past. "I treat allegations of wrongdoing as allegations and nothing more," he stressed.
Ackman shared details about his own experience undergoing a long and arduous investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer two decades ago for "market manipulation." After cooperating fully with regulators and ultimately being found entirely innocent of any wrongdoing, Ackman now cautions against sacrificing core values in a rush to convict individuals before all evidence is provided and understood.He stressed that there is a revolving door between prosecutors and white-collar law firms, where typically ex-prosecutors can make far heftier salaries than their government positions offer.
Ackman made clear that he did not have economic interests in or ties to either party. Aside from expressing sympathy for Bankman-Fried, the hedge fund star was quick to state that he was not supporting or defending the disgraced executive but rather simply affording him the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.
He empathized with both investors who were victims of the fraud as well as Bankman-Fried himself, as it can take years before such cases are settled, and those accused are put through extraordinary public scrutiny despite knowing they may never be found responsible for any losses or wrongdoing.