The United States Attorney’s Office has released a new superseding indictment against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) which includes allegations of campaign finance law violations as part of a wire fraud scheme.
In an Aug. 14 filing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams charged SBF with seven counts nearly identical to those he had faced upon arrival in the United States from the Bahamas in December 2022. However, following a legal battle in which SBF’s legal team argued he should not face a violation of campaign finance charge as it was not included in the extradition agreement, prosecutors said they would consider the scheme as evidence in a wire fraud charge.
According to the superseding indictment, Bankman-Fried “misappropriated and embezzled FTX customer deposits”, resulting in more than $100 million being used “in campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans to seek to influence cryptocurrency regulation”. Prosecutors alleged SBF also concealed the source of these contributions by placing them in the names of FTX executives, including former engineering director Nishad Singh.
“By directing donations through Singh and another FTX executive, Bankman-Fried was able to evade restrictions on certain types of political contributions, and thereby maximize FTX’s political influence,” said the indictment. “He leveraged this influence, in turn, to lobby Congress and regulatory agencies to support legislation and regulation he believed would make it easier for FTX to continue to accept customer deposits and grow, which would, in turn, allow the misappropriation scheme to continue.”
This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.