FTX co-founder Sam Bankman Fried was hit by four new criminal charges Thursday in a superseding indictment filed in federal court in New York to research.
A source familiar with the new charges said SBF, as he is commonly known, could face an additional 40 years in prison if convicted in the case.
The new indictment document further details Bankman-Fried’s allegedly fraudulent conduct related to his cryptocurrency company and an associated hedge fund, Alameda Research.
The 12-count indictment also provides new details about political donations that Bankman-Fried allegedly directed in violation of federal campaign finance laws.
Bankman-Fried is accused of stealing deposits from FTX customers and using billions of dollars of those stolen funds to support FTX and Alameda operations and investments, to finance speculative investments, to make charitable contributions and to enrich themselves, the indictment notes.
He also attempted to “buy influence over cryptocurrency regulation in Washington, D.C., by directing tens of millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions from Democrats and Republicans,” according to the new act. charge, which was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Bankman-Fried, who remains free on a personal pledge of $250 million, has pleaded not guilty in the case.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, in a statement on the new indictment, said, “We are working hard and will remain so until justice is served.”
The new document details how Bankman-Fried allegedly operated an illegal straw donor scheme as he moved to use client funds to conduct a $40 million political influence campaign.
The indictment claims that Bankman-Fried and his co-conspirators “made more than 300 political contributions, totaling tens of millions of dollars, which were unlawful because they were made in the name of a donor of straw or paid for with company funds.
“To prevent certain contributions from being made public in his name, Bankman-Fried conspired and caused certain political contributions to be made in the name of two other FTX executives,” the new filing claims.
Former FTX chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces fraud charges following the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, leaves Manhattan federal court in New York on February 16 2023.
Edward Munoz | Reuters
The document refers to one such example, in 2022, when Bankman-Fried and “others agreed that he and his co-conspirators should contribute at least $1 million to a super PAC that supported a candidate running for a sits in the United States Congress and appeared to be affiliated with pro-LGBTQ issues.”
The group of conspirators, according to the document, chose an individual uniquely identified in the document as “CC-1” or co-conspirator 1 to be the donor.
However, in 2022 Nishad Singh, then chief engineering officer of FTX, donated $1.1 million to the LGBTQ Victory Fund Federal PAC, according to Federal Election Commission deposits.
Singh, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
According to the new indictment, SBF’s alleged campaign finance scheme included efforts on his part to keep his contributions to the Republican “gloomy.”
And, the alleged straw donation scheme was coordinated, at least in part, “through an encrypted, self-deleting Signal chat called ‘Donation Processing,'” according to the indictment.
The document says another unnamed co-conspirator “who publicly aligned with conservatives, made contributions to Republican candidates led by Bankman-Fried and funded by Alameda,” the crypto mogul’s hedge fund.
Again, the document does not name the second alleged FTX co-conspirator who contributed to the Republican candidates.
Ryan Salame, co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, a subsidiary of FTX, donated more than $20 million to Republicans in the 2022 election cycle, according to campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets.
Salame could not be reached for comment.
An ethics watch group asked the Federal Election Commission investigate Bankman Fried for alleged ‘serious’ violations of election law, citing his admitted contributions of ‘dark’ money to Republican-aligned groups during the 2022 primary season
– Additional reporting by CNBC Jim Forkins
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