“I never thought that what I was doing was illegal.”

That stunner comes from a Sunday interview with crypto fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried, just handed a 25-year sentence for bilking customers out of billions upon billions of dollars through chicanery at his firms FTX and Alameda Research. 

For SBF to deploy the Wait — was that wrong? defense after trying his damnedest for years to cover his tracks is hilariously lame.

Not to mention how he was feted by all and sundry as a financial wizard and presented himself as the leading light of the “effective altruism” movement. 

His whole public persona was premised on being the smartest guy in the room. 

Heck, his mother, Barbara Fried, sent a letter to the court pleading for mercy for lil’ Sammy on account of what a bright kid he was: He led physics class review sessions! He read “well-known moral philosopher” Derek Parfit in middle school!

Far too late now for SBF to play dumb in the hopes of winning sympathy — especially since he’s still blaming everyone but himself for the massive harm he caused his investors. 

Fittingly, all the love he bought and paid for with those bilked billions has evaporated.

He spent north of $100 million in handouts to lefty political campaigns — and had promised to spend a billion in 2024, if needed to defeat Trump, and so got hyped up as the Great White Hope of progressive politics.

He made massive endorsement deals with athletes and celebrities, juicing his social status. 

He put the firm’s name on the home stadium of the Miami Heat, got to hang at the Super Bowl with Katy Perry, and received fawning profiles in major media outlets. 

Now? He’s just a schlubby jailbird with a pocketful of excuses. 

Dems and their media allies really need to pick better heroes.   

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