The New York Post is the latest national media outlet seeking answers about Broward’s connection to the FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange meltdown. On Sunday, the NY Post delved into the ties between FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) and his aunt, Broward Democrat consultant Barbara Miller. Last November, REDBROWARD was the first outlet to expose Barbara Miller’s employment with FTX. Since our initial report, outlets such as Reuters, The New York Times and Fox Business have questioned the exact role Miller had with FTX and her nephew.
Barbara Miller enlisted the help of Broward School Board member Debra Hixon with the staging of the FTX Hackathon and Crypto Summit last March. SBF’s uncle, James Fox Miller, touted his wife’s role with the hackathon.
James Fox Miller, an attorney, also bragged about his lifelong friend and law partner David Boies. Last November, REDBROWARD raised questions about Boies suing FTX and its celebrity spokespersons in behalf of creditors. Last week. REDBROWARD reported Barbara Miller was listed as an FTX creditor in court documents.
On Sunday, the NY post wrote, “Uncle Jimmy wrote on his Facebook page about the getaway describing it as ‘our 35th . . . It is really interesting watching the younger generations start to bond. It is unlikely they will ever have the kind of friendship David Boies and I have forged over 60 plus years. It is unique. We started these trips in the hopes that our children and grandchildren could learn what true friendship is all about.’”
The NY Post also raised questions about Barbara Miller’s role in securing a bond for SBF’s release from jail.
“Interesting, because so close are Fox Miller and Barbara Miller to SBF that people involved in the FTX imbroglio say the couple may have been the yet-to-be named sources of his bond money that allows him to remain under house arrest,” NY Post reporter Charles Gasparino wrote. “Full disclosure: I could not confirm those rumors in part because the Millers haven’t returned numerous emails and calls.”
What do Broward political consultant Barbara Miller and OIC of South Florida have in common with Apple, Netflix and DoorDash? They were all listed as FTX creditors in a 116 page document filed Wednesday. The massive list did not include the amount of money owed to each creditor.
As first reported by REDBROWARD, Barbara Miller is the aunt of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Miller and her company, BGM Consultants LLC, made the list of FTX creditors. Miller is unavailable to comment as she is aboard a fancy around the world cruise with her blogger husband James “Uncle Jimmy” Miller.
Last December, REDBROWARD also exposed tthe troubling ties between FTX and OIC of South Florida.
On May 12, 2022 in testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried gave details about a partnership with OIC South Florida and Broward County government. Bankman-Fried told Congress he wanted to help “unbanked” citizens, people without a bank account. FTX would provide these people with “crypto wallets” backed by the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange.
“Our bank the unbanked program offers those cut out of the financial system a free bank account and debit card linked to a crypto wallet. There are no fees, and no minimum balances. Transferring funds is virtually free and instantaneous and can be accessed on a phone. They can use it to receive money, make payments and build savings. There are no fees and no minimum balance,” Bankman-Fried said.
Thanks to the ties of his aunt, Barbara Miller, Bankman-Fried was able to recruit Broward government entities into his crypto wallet scheme.
“We began our program in South Florida in partnership with OIC of South Florida and Broward county government, and have recently announced a new million dollar program with the City of Chicago, and look forward to expanding to many other cities and communities across the country,” Bankman-Fried said.
Three months later, OIC hosted a “Middle Class Summit” sponsored by FTX. It featured numerous elected officials and business leaders from across south Florida. Bankman-Fried’s father, Joe Bankman was one of the featured speakers.
Bankman and his sister Barbara Miller were the driving forces behind the FTX Hackathon and Crypto Summit which targeted students from Broward schools.
In a letter to the U.S. Treasury, FTX detailed its plans to target Broward’s “most vulnerable” residents with a banking scheme involving digital assets and crypto wallets. Yesterday, REDBROWARD revealed FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s March 2022 testimony to Congress where he discussed a partnership with Broward County Government. “We began our program in South Florida in partnership with OIC of South Florida and Broward county government, and have recently announced a new million dollar program with the City of Chicago, and look forward to expanding to many other cities and communities across the country,” Bankman-Fried said.
An August 2022 letter to the U.S. Treasury gave more details about FTX plans for Broward.
“FTX is dedicated to actualizing the digital asset industry’s promise of fast, accessible, and low-cost financial services from the frontlines of Ukraine’s defense of democracy, to American communities left out of the traditional financial system,” the letter stated. FTX claimed the solution for the inability of some minorities to open traditional bank accounts was to create bank accounts utilizing FTX products such as a digital wallet. “FTX Foundation is collaborating with local governments, communities, and organizations across the country to offer those cut out of the financial system a free bank account and debit card linked to a crypto wallet,” FTX wrote.
The FTX Foundation, the charitable arm of FTX, was the organization behind the FTX Hackathon and Crypto Summit which targeted Broward students. Sam Bankman-Fried’s aunt, Broward Democrat lobbyist Barbara Miller was the driving force behind the FTX Hackathon. A Broward government source said Miller was pushing Broward County government to expand ties with FTX.
“We launched our first pilot partnership and focus groups in South Florida in partnership with OIC of South Florida and Broward county government, with focus group sessions in order to better learn about the challenges facing the unbanked in detail,” FTX told the U.S. Treasury.
Two weeks after our initial story, the New York Times reported participants in OIC of South Florida jobs program lost money placed in crypto wallets furnished by FTX.
OIC CEO: “THEY WERE VERY GOOD TO US”
The New York Times reported Joe Bankman “leveraged family connections to expand FTX’s reach. His sister, Barbara Miller, works in Florida as a political consultant and introduced him to Newton Sanon, the chief executive of OIC of South Florida.” OIC SFL is a nonprofit organization that focuses on work force development training. It is funded, in part, by Broward taxpayers. According to the NYT, Barbara Miller did not respond to a request for comment.
The New York Times did speak with Newton Sanon:
Mr. Sanon worked with Mr. Bankman on a financial literacy initiative for low-to-moderate-income adults enrolled in education programs. As part of the collaboration, students who did not have bank accounts could open one linked to FTX’s platform, giving them the option to spend their money on cryptocurrency. Nobody was pushed to buy digital currencies through FTX, Mr. Sanon said, but one participant chose to do so.
In Washington, Mr. Bankman-Fried invoked the Florida program as he pressed for legislation to make the United States more hospitable to the crypto industry, testifying to a House committee that the initiative would help low-income people “build savings.”
After FTX collapsed, however, Mr. Sanon informed Mr. Bankman that some participants in the FTX initiative may have lost funds they had stored on the platform (including money students had received as a stipend for joining the program).
“They wired money in for us to be able to take care of students,” Mr. Sanon said. He declined to specify the amount that the organization received, but he said it was “substantial and very kind.”
Mr. Bankman used his personal funds to cover the losses, according to his spokeswoman. Mr. Sanon said that “none of us are happy with how this played out,” but that “those folks were very good to us.”