Bankman-Fried Utilized Dark Money To Influence US Elections

After a month-long trial, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty in federal court on Thursday on seven charges related to defrauding investors of billions of dollars.

Thursday’s verdict followed revelations that FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency trading firm, Alameda Research, had significant financial overlaps. This raised concerns about FTX’s financial stability, resulting in users withdrawing $6 billion from the platform and ultimately leading to its bankruptcy.

Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, subsequently admitted to diverting billions of dollars from customer funds into his personal hedge fund, resulting in a significant disruption within the cryptocurrency industry.

On Thursday, the 31-year-old was found guilty of multiple charges, which included “wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX customers and Alameda Research lenders, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud against FTX investors and conspiracy to commit money laundering,” as per The Federalist.

SBF, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges, is now potentially facing a sentence of over 100 years in prison.

SBF is potentially facing a second trial involving a different set of charges. Originally, a campaign finance charge was part of the initial set of indictments by federal prosecutors but was withdrawn due to a disagreement over extradition regulations with the Bahamas, where FTX had its headquarters.

If authorized, the second trial is expected to occur sometime early next year.

Shortly after FTX’s collapse, it didn’t take long for journalists to reveal that SBF was the second-largest individual contributor to Democrats during the 2022 midterms, channeling nearly $40 million into Democratic-associated entities throughout the campaign season.

However, what has become evident in the subsequent months is that SBF was just one part of a coordinated endeavor involving FTX executives to influence U.S. elections.

During their inquiry, federal prosecutors found that SBF had illicitly misappropriated and utilized FTX customer funds to contribute over $100 million to political campaigns ahead of the 2022 U.S. midterms.

This scheme was orchestrated with the significant involvement of two key figures within FTX’s inner circle, Nishad Singh and Ryan Salame, who both served as straw donors to funnel money on SBF’s behalf.

The ultimate objective, as outlined in a message composed by Salame, was to identify and diminish the influence of anti-crypto Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

FEC records for Singh and Salame reveal that both executives made numerous substantial contributions to numerous political campaigns and PACs in preparation for the 2022 elections.

Singh’s donations were channeled towards Democratic organizations, whereas Salame’s contributions went to Republican counterparts.

According to The Federalist, prosecutors released documents last month indicating that SBF, along with the two aforementioned executives, allocated $50 million from the embezzled FTX funds to “dark money” groups that do not publicly disclose the identities of their donors.