The Department of Justice Drops Campaign Finance Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried

 July 28, 2023

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced they don't plan to move forward with the campaign finance charge against disgraced FTX founder super donor Sam Bankman-Fried.

As Breitbart News reported, the DOJ notified a federal magistrate late Wednesday that it "did not intend to proceed" with the charges against the Democrat who made headlines for months with his scheme.

Forbes reports that the decision was based on consultations with the Bahamas regarding the campaign finance allegations in Bankman-Fried's original extradition document from last year, as part of an effort to adhere to the legal obligations contained therein.

The campaign finance violation charge was one of eight counts included in the original indictment issued by the DOJ in December, which also included wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering.

The Filing

In a filing addressed to federal judge Lewis Kaplan in New York, the Bahamas omitted the eighth offense from the original indictment, a violation of campaign finance laws, from its extradition treaty.

“The Government has been informed that The Bahamas notified the United States earlier today that The Bahamas did not intend to extradite the defendant on the campaign contributions count,” the DOJ letter said.

“Accordingly, in keeping with its treaty obligations to The Bahamas, the Government does not intend to proceed to trial on the campaign contributions count.”

The notice was issued hours after a hearing regarding Bankman-Fried's alleged attempt to discredit former Alameda Research executive Caroline Ellison by providing confidential documents to the New York Times.

According to Breitbart News, the originator of FTX is accused of stealing more than $2 billion in "loans and payments" from the company during his tenure as CEO.

AP reports that Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon opened the hearing by declaring the DOJ's intention to remand the cryptocurrency entrepreneur.

Judge Kaplan chose not to rule on this motion during Wednesday's hearing, instead establishing a schedule for both the prosecution and defense to submit written arguments on this issue. In the interim, he issued a restraining order prohibiting Bankman-Fried from speaking publicly.

“I am certainly very mindful of his First Amendment rights, and I am very mindful of the government’s interest here, which I take very seriously,” Kaplan said. “And I say to the defendant, Mr. Bankman-Fried: You better take it seriously, too.”

The Charges

Bankman-Fried pled not guilty to charges of defrauding investors and stealing FTX customer deposits.

Since his extradition from the Bahamas in December, the 31-year-old, who was considered a crypto savant before the exchange collapsed last year, has been free on a $250 million surety. His electronic communications have been severely restricted and he is required to reside with his parents in Palo Alto, California.

The trial of Bankman-Fried is scheduled for October 2. The letter from the DOJ did not indicate whether prosecutors intend to include the campaign finance charge in the second trial scheduled for March.

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