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Tipsheet

Former FTX CEO Charged With Making Illegal Campaign Donations

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was officially charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday afternoon for a series of crimes involving the illegal diversion of customer funds, including for "large political donations." 

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"From the start, Bankman-Fried improperly diverted customer assets to his privately-held crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research LLC (“Alameda”), and then used those customer funds to make undisclosed venture investments, lavish real estate purchases, and large political donations," the SEC indictment states. "Bankman-Fried also used commingled funds from Alameda to make large political donations and to purchase tens of millions of dollars in Bahamian real estate for himself, his parents, and other FTX executives."

While SBF donated $200,000 to Republicans, he was a mega-donor to Democrats during the 2022 midterm elections. He was beat out by billionaire George Soros, coming in as the second biggest donor after writing checks totaling $40 million. His parents, who also allegedly benefitted from his scheme, have deep connections to the Democratic Party. 

The FTX CEO's family — consisting of his parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, and brother Gabe Bankman-Fried — has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and actively worked with left-wing organizations committed to supporting Democrats. The four appear to have had subtle influence on the Democratic establishment for the better part of a decade.

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As Spencer reported earlier, SBF was conveniently arrested in the Bahamas late Monday night just hours before expected testimony in front of the House  Financial Services Committee. The Committee is chaired by Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Waters, who claims she was "surprised" by the arrest, welcomed SBF into her Capitol Hill office last year and blew him a kiss upon departure. 

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