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FTX Co-founder Charged with Illegal Campaign Contributions and Fraud

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

A superseding indictment was submitted to a federal court in New York on Thursday, charging Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder of cryptocurrency company FTX and hedge fund Alameda Research, with four additional counts of making illegal campaign contributions. The indictment was filed in a federal court in New York. The newly filed allegations include the following:

  • Participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States of America.
  • Making false statements to federal officials.
  • Obstructing the administration of justice.
  • Committing wire fraud.

Prosecutors claim that Bankman-Fried and his accomplices illegally contributed more than $5 million to different political groups that supported politicians running for federal office in 2020 via the use of straw donors. According to the allegations, the goal of the scam was to purchase political influence and access on behalf of FTX and Alameda Research, two companies that engage in the trading of digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The indictment states that Bankman-Fried lied to federal agents about his role in the scheme and attempted to cover his tracks by deleting emails and instructing others to do the same. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Bankman-Fried tried to cover up his tracks by hiring others to delete emails. Moreover, it is claimed that he fabricated invoices and contracts in order to disguise the origin of the money.

Bankman-Fried entered a not-guilty plea in response to the first accusations that were brought against her in December 2022. These allegations included two counts of illegally contributing to a campaign. Should he be found guilty on all six charges, he may face a maximum of forty years in jail.

The case is a subpart of a larger investigation being conducted by the United States Department of Justice investigating fraudulent activities and money laundering using cryptocurrencies. With a total market capitalization of over $25 billion, FTX ranks as one of the most valuable cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.