Indictment Accuses FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Of Violating Campaign Finance Laws

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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FTX founder and Democratic Party mega-donor Sam Bankman-Fried violated campaign finance laws prohibiting the use of straw donors, according to a federal indictment.

Bankman-Fried was arrested Monday night in the Bahamas, and will be charged with eight counts of fraud. According to the indictment, Bankman-Fried conspired to defraud the U.S. government by “make corporate contributions to candidates and committees in the Southern District of New York that were reported in the name of another person,” and by donating more than $25,000 to candidates during an election cycle.

Overall, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison, according to a spokesman for federal prosecutors. (RELATED: Billionaire Dem Donor And Former Crypto CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested In Bahamas)

Worth as much as $26.5 billion, Bankman-Fried donated $36 million to Democrats during the 2022 midterms. He said he gave “about the same amount” to Republicans in dark money, but has not provided evidence for the claim.

Bankman-Fried donated to at least three Democrats in the federal Southern District of New York, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The Southern District includes Manhattan, Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan counties. They include outgoing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chief Sean Patrick Maloney, his primary challenger Alessandra Biaggi, and Ritchie Torres, whose 15th District covers the South Bronx.

NYACK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 29: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) claps as he listens to speakers during a rally at Nyack Veteran’s Memorial Park on October 29, 2022 in Nyack, New York. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Bankman-Fried gave $5,800 to Maloney’s campaign, and $2,900 each to Torres and Biaggi. None of the three responded to the Daily Caller’s request for comment on the matter. (RELATED: REPORT: Sam Bankman-Fried’s Claim About ‘Dark Money’ GOP Donations ‘Flatly Untrue’)

No candidates or members of Congress were named in the indictment, and it is not a crime for candidates or elected officials to unknowingly accept illegal donations. However, once candidates are made aware of illegal donations, they are required by FEC rules to return them to the donor or U.S. Treasury. Notably, Republican Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry was convicted in March of lying to federal agents in connection with a straw donor scheme. Rather than return $30,000 in illegal donations, Fortenberry kept the cash and did not amend his FEC filings. The congressman was sentenced to two years probation.