Extremist Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon, who was indicted for allegedly bilking MAGA supporters in a multi-million-dollar “build the wall” scheme (then pardoned by Trump), has taken a “strategic partnership” position in a cryptocurrency — and experts are already concerned, Mother Jones reports.
The former White House strategist, along with ex-Trump campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn, announced a prominent role in the crypto coin called $FJB — which stands for “Fuck Joe Biden” — on Bannon’s “War Room” podcast.
Bannon has touted $FJB on the podcast as the “currency for the MAGA movement.” Epshteyn called investment in the coin a “primal political scream” for the “deplorables.”
Crypto experts pointed out that every purchase directly boosts the value of Bannon’s and Epshteyn’s holdings, which they touted as significant. According to Mother Jones, the currency is also designed to give operators an unusual amount of power to block coin traders from selling their tokens.
The code for $FJB allows the currency’s operators to lock an owner’s token balance, according to crypto expert Simon de la Rouviere (and others), who reviewed the code for Mother Jones.
But those same constraints don’t apply to operators. That means if the price for $FJB started to drop, for example, the coin’s operators could stop some token holders from bailing, while the operators could sell off their own holdings before their investment tanked. The magazine noted that some $FJB owners have already complained that their transactions were frozen.
Bannon was pardoned by Trump early last year for allegedly fleecing many of the former president’s loyal supporters. Bannon and his three partners faced multiple fraud counts in the Southern District of New York in 2020 for allegedly stealing from the “We Build the Wall” charity they controlled which claimed to raise funds to help build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
Instead, money from “hundreds of thousands of donors” was used to fund the men’s lavish lifestyles, according to the Department of Justice.
Bannon was accused of pocketing $1 million in the indictment. A judge, forced by Trump’s pardon to dismiss the indictment against Bannon last year, suggested in his ruling that Bannon’s acceptance of the pardon could be interpreted as an admission of guilt.
Trial for Bannon’s “We Build the Wall” partners — Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea — has been set for March.
Bannon has claimed on his podcast that some of the profits from $FJB will go to various charities.
Epshteyn has also come under a cloud. He boasted last week on CNN that he helped coordinate the filing of false certificates signed by fake GOP electors claiming that Trump had won states he actually lost in the presidential election.
$FJB was originally created in October. It was initially called the Let’s Go Brandon coin. Its website claims that over 8,000 people own the coin.
Bannon could not immediately be reached for comment. Bannon and Epshteyn declined to comment to Mother Jones. A statement from $FJB said the code for the coin is “publicly available” but did not address operators’ sales controls.
Check out the full Mother Jones article on Bannon’s venture here.