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Prosecutors Detail Campaign Finance Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried

2 mins
Updated by Michael Washburn
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In Brief

  • Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, faces a new indictment for misusing customers' funds to support politicians.
  • He allegedly directed over $100 million to favored candidates, aiming to influence pro-crypto regulations and legislation.
  • Bankman-Fried's previous campaign finance charges were briefly dropped but are back in force as of last week.
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In a superseded indictment issued on Monday, the disgraced FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, is accused of spending millions of stolen customers’ funds to line the pockets of his favorite politicians.

Bankman-Fried, whose cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed last November, reportedly directed two executives to channel over $100 million to certain candidates. The former billionaire allegedly told these executives to skirt legal campaign limits to ensure pro-crypto industry politicians won races.

Campaign Finance Charges Are Back in Play

“He leveraged this influence, in turn, to lobby Congress and regulatory agencies to support legislation and regulation he believed would make it easier for FTX to continue to accept customer deposits and grow,” the 14 August indictment read.

Initially, prosecutors accused him of breaking US campaign finance laws. But they abandoned the charge in late July when the Bahamas stated that it never planned to extradite Bankman-Fried to America for that offense. 

However, prosecutors changed their mind last week when they announced Bankman-Fried would face campaign finance charges. Reversing their decision to give him a pass.

Learn how FTX imploded, wiping out billions from the crypto markets: FTX Collapse Explained: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Empire Fell

Before FTX collapsed, SBF had become the unofficial chief lobbyist for the crypto industry. In fact, his reputation as crypto’s “good guy” was so established, he was able to share stages with the likes of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

The former entrepreneur did not pick favorites when it came to political parties. Although most of his public donations were to Democrats, he later admitted to making secret, equal donations to Republicans, too.

SBF Recently Sent to Brooklyn MDC

The former FTX CEO was arrested in December after authorities accused him of stealing billions of dollars from customer deposits. Furthermore, these funds were used to pay for property, enrich himself, as well as boost politicians and charitable causes of his choosing.

Last Friday, Bankman-Fried’s cushy house arrest was cut short as orders came to report to Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center. Judge Lewis Kaplin agreed with prosecutors who accused the former billionaire of attempting to intimidate witnesses.

The prison, also known as MDC, is one of the most infamous in the country. Opened in the early 1990s, it has become renowned for inmate violence and poor conditions.

There the former billionaire will reside until his trial begins in October.

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Josh Adams
Josh is a reporter at BeInCrypto. He first worked as a journalist over a decade ago, initially covering music before moving into politics and current affairs. Josh first owned Bitcoin in 2014 and has followed the space ever since. He is particularly interested in Web3 adoption, policy and regulation, CBDCs, privacy, and the future of the metaverse.
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