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FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Faces More Criminal Charges – The Latest Twist in a High-Profile Case

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Adobe / Александр Поташев

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of FTX, is currently facing additional criminal charges, including allegations of concealing information from banks.

In an indictment unsealed on Thursday this week, Bankman-Fried was charged with four additional criminal counts on top of the eight original charges against him. The new charges revolved around bank fraud, operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, and charges for securities and commodities fraud.

The original charges, which Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to, included theft of billions of dollars of funds from FTX customers, as well as charges for misleading investors and lenders.

Notably, the new charges not only described Bankman-Fried’s alleged criminal conduct in running FTX, but also irregularities related to his massive political donations. The indictment alleged that the former FTX boss attempted to skirt campaign finance laws and that he tried to buy political influence with his donation scheme.

Bankman-Fried was known as a major donor to the Democratic Party. He has also donated to other causes, often focused on health, pandemic prevention, and climate change, all as part of his push for “effective altruism.”

New Indictment Reveals FTX’s Transactional Donations

The new indictment also included a description of communication between a political consultant working for Bankman-Fried and an FTX executive, which revealed more about the true nature of the donations.

“In general, you being the center-left face of our spending will mean you giving to a lot of woke s**t for transactional purposes,” the political consultant told the FTX employee, according to the indictment.

The indictment added that the same executive later donated more than $1m to a group “affiliated with pro-LGBTQ issues” that Bankman-Fried had chosen.

A major donor

Public data indicates that Bankman-Fried was the second largest donor to the Democratic Party, after billionaire George Soros, in the 2021-2022 election cycle. 

According to OpenSecrets, he donated more than $46m to candidates and groups affiliated with the Democratic Party.

So far, Democratic politicians have only promised to return around 3% of the total amount received from Bankman-Fried. That is despite requests from FTX’s new CEO, bankruptcy expert John Ray III, to return the money by February 28.

Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in The Bahamas after US prosecutors first filed criminal charges against him. He was later extradited to the US, where he was released from jail after posting a $250m bond in a New York court.