Friday, 24 February 2023

Sam Bankman-Fried faces new criminal charges for unlawful political contributions

by Berkeley Lovelace

According to a new filing from the Southern District of New York’s attorney’s office, former FTX co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) now faces four additional counts of fraud, bringing his total to twelve charges.

With these new charges, the former crypto wunderkind has been accused of defrauding the Federal Elections Committee (FEC), along with additional counts related to wire fraud and money laundering.

U.S. campaign finance law places limits on how much money political donors can give per election cycle; also, it is illegal for donors to skirt these limits by making additional donations under others’ names. SBF is now being charged with violating these regulations. The filing says that SBF and one or more other conspirators “agreed to and did make corporate contributions to candidates and committees in the Southern District of New York that were reported in the name of another person.”

Leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, SBF gave more than $40 million to primarily Democratic-leaning PACs and politicians, yet he claimed in an interview with YouTube crypto reporter Tiffany Fong that he gave about an equal amount to Republican groups, much of which is not public.

“All my Republican donations were dark,” SBF said. “The reason was not for regulatory reasons. It’s ’cause reporters freak the fuck out if you donate to Republicans — they’re all super liberal.”

The initial charges, unveiled in December, were filed in parallel actions with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He faces a slew of allegations that he led a “years-long fraud” designed to hide from FTX investors the fact that their funds were being redirected to SBF’s Alameda crypto hedge fund. He is also facing charges for misusing FTX customer funds. SBF is currently awaiting trial on a $250 million bail bond, secured against his parents’ property.

This story is developing…

Sam Bankman-Fried faces new criminal charges for unlawful political contributions by Amanda Silberling originally published on TechCrunch