Sam Bankman-Fried took customer funds to make more than $100 million in political campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections, the Department of Justice said today.
In a new indictment filed Monday, the DOJ said Bankman-Fried, 31, who imprisoned on Friday, had “misappropriated and embezzled FTX customer deposits,” which he used for many purposes—including politics.
The prosecutors first FALL a campaign finance charge against Bankman-Fried in July, however SAYS last week that they will pursue the campaign finance allegations as part of concurrent fraud and money laundering charges.
“As Bankman-Fried well knows, FTX’s finances have a multi-billion dollar deficit due to his own misappropriation of customer funds from the exchange, and yet he continued until the collapse. of FTX in November 2022 to use embezzled customer funds to pay for his investments, acquisitions, and campaign contributions,” read Monday’s indictment.
It added that Bankman-Fried used the funds to make “contributions to Democrats and Republicans to seek to influence cryptocurrency regulation.”
FTX is a popular digital asset exchange that allows clients to buy, sell, and bet on the future prices of cryptocurrencies. The big crypto brand there is a deal with the Miami Heat, and former CEO and co-founder Bankman-Fried appears to be loved of the elites.
But the company unexpectedly went bankrupt in November. Bankman-Fried then arrested in the Bahamas, and prosecutors allege that he mismanaged the exchange and committed fraud.
Crypto bigwigs like Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin have since said the crypto community was suspicious of Bankman-Fried and FTX from the start—despite his impressive mainstream sales. The disgraced crypto mogul was jailed on Friday after a judge found probable cause to believe he tampered with witnesses.
Bankman-Fried, an ex-Jane Street trader and MIT graduate, previously said he gave money to the Democratic Party but then, after the collapse of FTX, admitted to donate to Republicans, too.
Bankman-Fried’s trial is expected to begin in October.