FTX co-creator Sam Bankman-Fried (aka SBF) is now dealing with four new charges over the collapse of his crypto exchange. A newly unsealed indictment in a New York federal court accuses SBF of fraudulent activity through both FTX and the linked Alameda Research hedge fund. The co-founder also allegedly violated federal campaign finance laws by making secret donations to a congressional super PAC using the names of two executives.
New information is included about Bankman-Fried’s political contribution as part of the filing for one of the new charges — conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and defraud the Federal Election Commission. The filing outlines that from 2020 up to November 2022 — the most recent midterm elections — he donated more than $25,000 in a year to candidates “in the names of other persons.” He also knowingly donated more than $25,000 in a year by a corporation, which is more than the limit.
Among the other new allegations is a claim that Bankman-Fried deliberately created a fake company called North Dimension, “which had no employees or business operations,” solely to open a bank account for trading purposes after an unnamed bank rejected FTX’s request to open an account. He even went to the extent of creating a website for the fake company, paid for with Bankman-Fried’s credit card, according to prosecutors.
U.S. campaign finance law places limits on how much money political donors can give per election cycle; also, it is illegal for donors to skirt these limits by making additional donations under others’ names. SBF is now being charged with violating these regulations. The filing says that SBF and one or more other conspirators “agreed to and did make corporate contributions to candidates and committees in the Southern District of New York that were reported in the name of another person.”
Now, SBF faces a total of 12 criminal charges. However, Mr Bankman-Fried’s spokesman has declined to comment on this.
Following the FTX debacle in December 2022, Bankman-Fried was originally charged with eight criminal counts and was extradited from his home in the Bahamas. He has been accused of stealing billions of dollars worth of deposits of FTX customers and using them to make charitable contributions, support FTX’s and Alameda’s operations and investments, as well as enriching himself.
Interestingly, he has pleaded not guilty to all of the original charges. Though he faces more than 100 years in prison, if convicted. 2 October has been set as his trial date. Here, it must be mentioned that prior to the FTX fall, Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX were regarded as the powerhouse of the crypto industry. In fact, he was vocal in his support for crypto-focused legislation in the United States and was one of the leading contributors to the Democrats before 2022’s midterm elections.