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SEC and FBI Probes Invoke Money, Informants and Aliens

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently provided a 2020 "no enforcement action" letter issued to the Peter Thiel-operated start-up investment firm Mithril Capital in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Expanding Frontiers Research. The 2023 request stemmed from a 2019 Business Insider story indicating the corporation was under investigation by the FBI for financial misconduct, followed by a 2023 story in which the media outlet reported Thiel became an FBI informant in 2021.

The 2020 SEC letter sent to Mithril Capital legal counsel, indicating no enforcement action would be recommended:

23-02406-FOIA Records For FOIA Release
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The SEC advised EFR in September 2023 it identified approximately four gigabytes of records potentially responsive to the FOIA request. For the sake of time and expense, EFR narrowed the scope of the request to interview transcripts compiled from investigations conducted, final reports composed, and documents issued that clarify the conclusions, recommendations and/or consequences resulting from investigations.

The SEC subsequently provided the letter in a recent email. It was explained a six-page case closing recommendation was being withheld in full under FOIA Exemption (b)(5). The Commission asserted the withheld records are exempt due to their potential involvement in future litigation. EFR is appealing the ruling.

In June 2023, when EFR originally submitted the Mithril Capital FOIA request to the SEC, a similar request was simultaneously sent to the FBI. The Bureau advised in September it identified 533 pages of potentially responsive records. EFR then narrowed the scope of the request to the first 48 pages in an effort to more efficiently get a look at some of the material and gauge the potential value of the remaining records. As of this writing, a final response has not been issued by the FBI.

The controversial Peter Thiel became a topic in the UFO subculture due to his alleged interest in the merging of venture capitalists, intelligence agencies and UAP start-ups. Eric Weinstein, a previously reported hedge fund manager of Thiel Capital, publicly expresses interest in UFO subject matter, including participating in a joint appearance with Harvard Prof. Avi Loeb at Bitcoin 2022. Weinstein and Loeb reportedly “postulated about other cultures living in the stars,” and “focused on the cultural implications of using Bitcoin, specifically as a means to diversify the human race across the cosmos.” EFR reported in February 2023 on the activities of people and organizations simultaneously promoting questionable investment advice and dubious beliefs about extraterrestrial beings.

Loeb is controversial in his own right, garnering both support and criticism for his Galileo Project, an initiative claiming to be seeking evidence of extraterrestrial technological signatures. As reported by EFR, the FBI provided four heavily redacted of 28 total pages responsive to a FOIA request submitted on the Galileo Project. EFR's appeal of the withheld material and 24 pages was denied by the Department of Justice.

As reported in the July 26, 2021, edition of the International Business Times, the Galileo Project received $1.7 million from private donors to look for possible evidence of artifacts or equipment made by defunct or active extraterrestrial technological civilizations, the FBI noted in records it released to EFR.

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