Accused Bankman-Fried: campaign donations with stolen customer funds?

Accused Bankman-Fried: campaign donations with stolen customer funds?

US prosecutors have accused businessman Sam Bankman-Fried of using more than $100 million in stolen funds to finance campaign donations. The founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX siphoned money from its customers to support candidates ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections, according to the amended indictment.

It alleges that the 31-year-old instructed two FTX executives to disguise the source of the funds and circumvent donation limits by donating to both Democrats and Republicans. “In turn, he used that influence to lobby Congress and regulators.”

The aim was to support politicians from both parties who were positive about digital currencies. In doing so, he said he wanted to gain support for laws and regulations that he believed would make it easier for FTX to continue accepting customer deposits and growing.

“Fraud of Epic Scale”

After rumors of irregularities and a failed rescue by rival Binance, FTX slid into bankruptcy in November 2022. Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas in December and extradited to the United States. The US judiciary accuses him of “fraud of epic proportions” and money laundering. He siphoned money from FTX customers without their knowledge to finance his hedge fund Alameda Research. The entrepreneur rejects the allegations of fraud.

The trial is scheduled to begin in October. The charges are based, among other things, on testimonies from Bankman Fried’s confidants, as well as chat conversations, financial records and other documents.

Bankman-Fried has been under house arrest at his parents’ home in California for the past few months thanks to a $250 million bail. In the meantime, however, he has been arrested: At the weekend, a New York judge withdrew the bail option because Bankman-Fried had tried to influence witnesses.


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