Bankman-Fried used customer funds for ‘$100 million in US political donations’
Sam Bankman-Fried used stolen customer funds to make more than $100 million in campaign contributions ahead of the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, federal prosecutors said on Monday in a new indictment filed against the founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.
The new indictment charges the 31-year-old former billionaire with seven counts of conspiracy and fraud over the collapse of the exchange. He has previously pleaded not guilty.
Mark Botnick, a spokesman for Bankman-Fried, declined to comment.
Bankman-Fried rode a boom in cryptocurrency values to compile a net worth estimated at $26 billion, and became an influential donor to mostly Democratic candidates and causes.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan had initially charged him with violating U.S. campaign finance laws, but dropped that charge in late July after the Bahamas said it had never intended to extradite Bankman-Fried to the United States on that charge. FTX was based in the Bahamas and he was arrested there in December 2022.
In a letter last week to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, prosecutors indicated they would soon file a new indictment that “will make clear that Mr. Bankman-Fried remains charged with conducting an illegal campaign finance scheme as part of the fraud and money laundering schemes originally charged.”