Alleged Fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried Hit With New Criminal Charges For Political Donations

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James Lynch Contributor
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Disgraced crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was indicted Thursday on additional criminal charges for illegal political donations worth tens of millions of dollars.

Bankman-Fried and his co-conspirators made over 300 donations through straw donors and corporate funds to avoid campaign finance rules limiting individual contributions, according to the new indictment. (RELATED: Alleged Fraudster And Ex-Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried Enters Not Guilty Plea In New York Court)

“Bankman-Fried stole FTX customer deposits, and used billions of dollars in stolen funds for a variety of purposes, including, among other things, to support the operations and investments of FTX and Alameda; to fund speculative venture investments; to make charitable contributions; to enrich himself; and to try to purchase influence over cryptocurrency regulation in Washington, D.C. by steering tens of millions of dollars of illegal campaign contributions to both Democrats and Republicans,” the indictment says.

Federal prosecutors leveled four fraud charges and eight conspiracy charges related to his campaign donations. Charges include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making unlawful political contributions and defrauding the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Bankman-Fried was indicted on eight counts of fraud and conspiracy by federal prosecutors in December for allegedly misusing customer funds from FTX, his crypto exchange, and its sister hedge fund Alameda Research. His initial indictment included charges for wire fraud on customers, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the United States and violate campaign finance laws.

He was the Democratic Party’s second largest donor during the 2022 midterm election cycle, spending $39 million on Democratic campaigns and affiliated organizations. Bankman-Fried also provided small donations to Republicans and affiliated groups.

FTX declared bankruptcy in November following reports about misused customer funds. The Bahamas-based exchange and its U.S. operation were worth a combined $40 billion after a January 2022 fundraising round.

Bankman-Fried’s wealth peaked at an estimated $26.5 billion and he was worth $17.2 billion as of September 2022, according to Forbes. He told Axios he had less than $100,000 left in his bank account in December.