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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried made political contributions under other people’s names, US authorities allege


Samuel Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of FTX, testifies during a Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry hearing about "Examining Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation, and Innovation," on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 9, 2022Samuel Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of FTX, testifies during a Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry hearing about “Examining Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation, and Innovation,” on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 9, 2022

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

  • A federal indictment alleges FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried committed several campaign finance violations.
  • Bankman-Fried is accused of donating to politicians under others’ names, wire fraud, money laundering, and more.
  • He was arrested on Monday in the Bahamas and is expected to be extradited to the US.

US authorities allege that former FTX CEO and co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried violated multiple campaign finance laws, including by sending donations to politicians “in the names of other persons.”

Bahamian authorities arrested Bankman-Fried on Monday with the expectation that he will be extradited to the US. A freshly unsealed indictment accuses him of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, laundering money, and more. 

And among the litany of charges levied against Bankman-Fried, he’s accused of committing several campaign finance violations. The indictment, which came down from the Southern District of New York, accuses Bankman-Fried and unnamed others of conspiring to “defraud the United States” in several ways.

 

One way that Bankman-Fried defrauded the US, the indictment alleges, is by donating to candidates and political action committees using other people’s names. The names used by Bankman-Fried and others were not named in the indictment.

“The defendant, and others known and unknown, would and did knowingly and willfully make contributions to candidates for federal office, joint fundraising committees, and independent expenditure committees in the names of other persons,” the indictment notes.

According to the Federal Election Commission’s website “Contributions in the Name of Another are Strictly Prohibited.” 

“Reimbursing someone for a contribution or otherwise contributing in the name of another person can result in substantial civil penalties and jail time,” the site notes.

Using these methods, the indictment alleges Bankman-Fried and unnamed others donated more than $25,000 in total in a calendar year, in violation of campaign finance regulations

Bankman-Fried was no run-of-the-mill donor — the former CEO was one of the Democratic Party’s largest donors, publicly sending committees and politicians tens of millions. In a recent interview, however, Bankman-Fried said he donated an equal amount to Republicans using “dark,” or non-publicly disclosed methods.

“All my Republican donations were dark,” Bankman-Fried said. “The reason was not for regulatory reasons, it’s because reporters freak the fuck out if you donate to Republicans. They’re all super liberal, and I didn’t want to have that fight.”

Relatedly, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the FEC last week regarding Bankman-Fried’s use of dark money groups to hide his Republican donations.

Read the original article on Business Insider