Bankman-Fried charged with breaking campaign finance laws

Former FTX CEO Samuel Bankman-Fried has been charged with violating campaign finance laws, with eight counts presented against him on Tuesday.

Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas after an arrest warrant was granted to detain the cryptocurrency leader.

What happened?

“Open Secrets estimates Bankman-Fried and FTX executives donated $70 million to political campaigns in the last 18 months. Bankman-Fried personally donated $40 million to left-wing initiatives, and more than $200,000 to Republicans, according to disclosures,” Breitbart News reported.

“On page eighteen of the indictment, Bankman-Fried was charged with ‘knowingly and willfully’ donating to federal candidates, along with political action committees, in the name of other persons and corporate entities over the threshold of $25,000 in one calendar year,” it added.

The charges

“We allege that Sam Bankman-Fried built a house of cards on a foundation of deception while telling investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

“The alleged fraud committed by Mr. Bankman-Fried is a clarion call to crypto platforms that they need to come into compliance with our laws. Compliance protects both those who invest on and those who invest in crypto platforms with time-tested safeguards, such as properly protecting customer funds and separating conflicting lines of business.

“It also shines a light into trading platform conduct for both investors through disclosure and regulators through examination authority. To those platforms that don’t comply with our securities laws, the SEC’s Enforcement Division is ready to take action,” he added in the statement.

The indicted crypto leader donated to several Democrats through political action committees, including Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Bankman-Fried also gave to some Republicans, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), according to the Wall Street Journal.

The former FTX CEO is expected to be extradited to the U.S. for a court appearance.

The case will certainly make headlines for some time as the many political connections unfold related to the midterm elections.