Sam Bankman-Fried charged with using stolen funds to make political donations Business

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been charged with using stolen customer funds to make over $100m (£78.8m) in political donations.

Federal prosecutors on Monday accused Mr Bankman-Fried of spending millions on campaign contributions ahead of last year’s US midterm elections, in hopes of influencing rules over cryptocurrency.

The new indictment read: “He leveraged this influence, in turn, to lobby Congress and regulatory agencies to support legislation and regulation he believed would make it easier for FTX to continue to accept customer deposits and grow.”

Prosecutors also claimed that the 31-year-old ordered other FTX executives to make donations to avoid breaching limits on political contributions.

The latest indictment means that the former billionaire is now charged with seven counts of conspiracy and fraud over the collapse of FTX. His criminal fraud trial begins in October.

The disgraced FTX founder was one of America’s largest political donors after donating tens of millions to Democrats and Republicans, including $5.2m to Joe Biden’s 2020 Presidential campaign.

Last year, the new management of the bankrupt exchange threatened legal action against anyone who refused to return donations made by Mr Bankman-Fried.

A spokesman for Mr Bankman-Fried declined to comment.

Mr Bankman-Fried previously pleaded not guilty to charges of looting money from customer deposits to plug losses at a sister cryptocurrency hedge fund, Alameda Research.

The latest indictment comes after Mr Bankman-Fried was jailed last week after his $250m bail was revoked over alleged witness tampering.

FTX world’s second-largest digital coin exchange before filing for bankruptcy last November. More than a million creditors were left out of pocket following its collapse, including an estimated 80,000 in the UK.

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This notice was published: 2023-08-14 21:55:50

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