The curious case of FTX VIPs


David Boies is no stranger to quandary or controversy. In fact, over his long legal career he always seems to be courting it. 

You might recall how the 81-year-old super lawyer argued famously before the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore in the disputed 2000 election. (As a big-time Dem he repped Gore and lost). Or how he represented the Clinton administration’s antitrust department in its famous case against Microsoft. (He won). 

He also doesn’t mind aiming pretty low in pursuit of money and possibly publicity. He worked for convicted sex-fiend Harvey Weinstein for a time and Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos infamy. 

As a youthful octogenarian, he’s still looking to make a splash. Consider: Boies and his law firm Boies Schiller Flexner have filed a high-profile class action suit against Sam Bankman-Fried (a k a SBF) and his celebrity endorsers, a star-studded lineup of defendants that include recently retired football GOAT Tom Brady, “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary and comedian Larry David.

David Boies and his law firm Boies Schiller Flexner have filed a high-profile class action suit against Sam Bankman-Fried.
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As you probably know, prosecutors allege the former wunderkind of crypto stole billions of dollars from customers of his FTX crypto exchange to finance his lavish lifestyle, gamble in the global crypto markets, grease various politicians and burnish his reputation through tens of millions of dollars in charitable contributions.

Here’s the latest coverage on the collapse of crypto giant FTX

But Boies accuses not just SBF of fraud but the celebrities he hired to hump FTX in glitzy TV commercials, etc., as accessories to the crime. 

SBF has been indicted, is under house arrest and could spend 115 years in jail. The endorsers haven’t, and based on all the available evidence, won’t. Yet the lawsuit says simply by lending their names they’re somehow complicit in “a Ponzi scheme where the FTX Entities shuffled customer funds between their opaque affiliated entities.” 

Boies and his spokeswoman didn’t return my repeated calls/emails for comment, but he recently told Puck News: “If you made this into a movie, people wouldn’t believe it . . . It’d be interesting even if you took three zeroes off of what happened.”

OK I know that people like Brady or Larry David are few of the reliably solid sources of cash with a connection to the bankrupt FTX. But it’s hard to fathom that people like Brady or Larry David had a clue what SBF and his creepy drug-addled crew who ran FTX from a mansion in the Bahamas were allegedly doing, which is why so many people in the legal community think the suit is another Boiesian attempt to remain relevant. 

Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried has been indicted, is under house arrest and could spend 115 years in jail.
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Family connections

Also raising a few eyebrows in legal circles is some curious connections Boies and his firm have with members of SBF’s family. SBF, who Boies is painting as the second coming of Bernie Madoff, is the nephew of someone described as one of Boies’ closest friends and law partners, James Fox Miller.

Fox Miller has been at Boies Schiller for years. He is described as one of the best litigators in Florida and is married to Barbara Miller, SBF’s aunt, and the sister of Joe Bankman, SBF’s father. 

Boies and Fox Miller are so close that they vacationed together with their families over the Christmas holiday, right around the time SBF made bail and was released from that rat-infested Bahamian prison. 

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.”

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.

Full disclosure: I could not confirm those rumors in part because the Millers haven’t returned numerous emails and calls.

Kevin O'Leary
Kevin O’Leary was one of FTX’s star-studded investors.
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Representatives for Bankman-Fried declined to comment and his dad’s flack didn’t return emails requesting comment 

What I can confirm is that the Millers are no strangers to FTX. They aren’t targeted as part of the alleged scam. But as I reported with Eleanor Terrett on Fox Business, Barbara Miller is a political heavyweight in Broward County, Fla., where the couple live. 

Catch up on The Post’s latest in the Sam Bankman-Fried FTX scandal

She played a key role in a star-studded FTX charity — a celebrity “Hackathon” — that awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to students competing in a “Shark Tank”-like event before judges who included the aforementioned O’Leary, baseball star David Ortiz and comedian Whitney Cummings.

James Fox Miller didn’t assist, but he did attend. Again on Facebook, he gushed about its success, describing his wife’s role as “the key ingredient, sort of the egg in deviled eggs.” 

One of the more unfortunate outcomes of the FTX collapse is that money SBF donated to various charities could be “clawed back” in the bankruptcy proceedings to make whole the fleeced account holders. That could include the Hackathon student participants if it can be shown that SBF used customer money to make those payments, bankruptcy experts tell me.

The Boies suit, which has been consolidated into two other class actions, doesn’t take aim at the Hackathon winners. It does mention O’Leary’s Hackathon role to buttress the allegation the “Shark Tank” star was in bed with SBF (O’Leary had no comment).

In any event, you can see how the entire mess would make for some uncomfortable Boies Schiller lunch room convos. Fox Miller works from the firm’s Hollywood, Fla., offices along with his son and SBF’s cousin Charles Fox Miller, who is also a partner at Boies Schiller. 

Good thing James Fox Miller and Boies are so close.

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