On Thursday, prosecutors unveiled additional charges against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, detailing how the ex-billionaire may have illegally donated millions of dollars of customers’ money to political causes and candidates.
As reported by Politico, federal prosecutors in New York claim that Bankman-Fried, along with two other unnamed co-conspirators, donated to multiple super PACs and campaigns in 2022, after taking out loans from his hedge fund Alameda Research and siphoning customer funds from FTX. In addition to his direct contributions, Bankman-Fried also allegedly funneled donations through other individuals so that some of them couldn’t be easily traced back to him.
Bankman-Fried was the second-biggest donor to Democratic candidates and left-wing causes during the 2022 midterm election cycle, with a total of $39.8 million in donations; he was surpassed in total donations only by George Soros. In 2020, Bankman-Fried was the second-largest to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, behind Michael Bloomberg. In addition to Bankman-Fried, fellow FTX exchange executives Ryan Salame and Nishad Singh also donated heavily to Democrats in 2022; both men have been cooperating with regulators in the pending case against their former employer.
Following FTX’s sudden collapse in November of 2022, the company has requested the return of all political donations from the 2022 cycle. Several super PACs and campaigns have begun setting aside funds that are equal to the donations they received.