Embattled cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried directed millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to elected officials, prosecutors allege in a new superseding indictment Thursday in Manhattan federal court.
The new 12-count indictment adds four more charges related to the collapse of 30-year-old cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which prosecutors say was a “multibillion-dollar fraud.”
Bankman-Fried became one of the nation’s largest Democratic donors during last year’s midterm elections, with net worth estimated at one point to exceed $20 billion and plans to spend up to $1 billion in the 2024 presidential election. Dream.
But according to the new indictment, Bankman-Fried’s political contributions were not all that they seemed.
The indictment accuses Bankman-Fried of directing at least 300 illegal campaign donations, up to $100 million to both Democrats and Republicans, through two other unnamed FTX executives who attempted to conceal the true source of the funds. Acted as a “straw donor” for
The scheme was used, prosecutors allege, to avoid federal contribution limits, to conceal the illegal source of some of the money, and to protect Bankman-Fried’s reputation by keeping his name from political candidates. And for reasons that don’t align with his center-left public image.
Prosecutors did not allege that any of the recipients of the donations – including several members of Congress – knew that the donations they received were in violation of the law. Several members of Congress have pledged to donate contributions received from Bankman-Fried to charity.
Prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried of essentially stealing FTX customers’ money to fund her political charity and then covering it up. The indictment alleges that money for donations was often taken from bank accounts that contained FTX customer funds controlled by Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund at the center of the FTX explosion.
An unnamed executive became a conduit for donations to left-wing causes, the indictment alleges, with a political consultant reportedly explaining to him: “In general, you being the center left face of our spending would mean you are very All Jagran is delivering.*** For transactional purposes.
The second executive was used to make donations to conservatives because Bankman-Fried, a Democrat, did not want her name publicly associated with Republican candidates, the indictment states.
According to the indictment, the political spending was coordinated through a chat called “donation processing” on the encrypted messaging app Signal.
Prosecutors appear to have gained access to chat records, in which the indictment cites messages relating to an instance in which Bankman-Fried personally directed that a $107,000 donation be changed from her account and that instead be listed as the first executive.
Other messages cited in the indictment show Bankman-Fried earlier executive messages to express concern about the paper trail left by “Probably 80m”. [$80 million]”donations/personal/etc that went through my bank [account] and are in my name. The executive reportedly suggested that they find a way to cover up the transaction, but FTX imploded before they could act.
The indictment alleges that Bankman-Fried accepted political donations to “improve her personal position in Washington, D.C., raise FTX’s profile, and curry favor with candidates who could help pass legislation favorable to FTX.” used.
The indictment states that the campaign “involved flooding the political system with millions of dollars in illegal contributions to both Democrats and Republicans made in the name of others in order to obscure the true source of the money and avoid federal election law.”
Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges and is currently out on bail, living with her parents while she awaits trial. In several media interviews, Bankman-Fried has admitted ignorance and said she made major mistakes, but has not admitted any criminal wrongdoing.