Federal prosecutors have postponed five accusations against Sam Bankman-Fried, a discredited cryptocurrency tycoon and prominent supporter of the Democratic Party, following his arrest subsequent to the downfall of his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.
SBF, as Bankman-Fried is commonly known, was apprehended in late 2022 and faced a total of eight federal charges. The initial charges encompassed allegations of involvement in wire fraud conspiracy and violations of campaign finance regulations. Furthermore, an investigation revealed a shortfall of over $8 billion in customer deposits held by FTX.
According to prosecutors, Bankman-Fried has been accused of diverting billions of dollars from customers for personal purposes, such as acquiring high-end properties and making political contributions. Officials stated that this fraudulent scheme unraveled when the cryptocurrency market experienced a collapse last year.
In January, an attorney representing FTX revealed in court that SBF utilized a covert method to launder funds to Alameda Research, a sister company of FTX. As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Caroline Ellison, who is both SBF’s former girlfriend and the CEO of Alameda Research, confessed to conspiring with him to deceive FTX customers and investors.
NEWS in the Sam Bankman-Fried case:— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) June 15, 2023
Prosecutors at the Southern District of New York agree to sever five charges from its planned October trial of SBF.
The government asks for those charges to be tried separately in the first quarter of 2024. pic.twitter.com/Yaioa10L72
Federal prosecutors in New York have proposed a proposal to drop five supplementary charges against Bankman-Fried, provided that the judge permits a separate trial for those charges at a later time. These additional charges were introduced subsequent to Bankman-Fried’s extradition from the Bahamas, where his cryptocurrency exchange was based.
The charges that have been withdrawn involve allegations of fraud related to a scheme in which SBF purportedly established a fictitious company without any employees to circumvent the prohibition on having a bank account in California. Additionally, a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery, claiming that Bankman-Fried spent $40 million in an attempt to influence a government official in China, has also been included among the charges to be severed.
During the 2022 midterm elections, Bankman-Fried emerged as a significant contributor, primarily directing his donations towards Democratic candidates. He held the distinction of being the second-largest donor for the Democratic Party throughout the election cycle.
Bankman-Fried’s Protect Our Future PAC provided support to 25 Democratic candidates running for Congressional seats in 2022, ultimately contributing to victories in 18 of those races. Many of these victories came from newly elected Democrats, including multiple successful pickups. Bankman-Fried personally donated $27 million to the PAC, and according to a report by Open Secrets, he also made additional undisclosed donations through dark money channels.
In addition to his support for Congressional candidates, Bankman-Fried made a substantial donation of $5 million to President Biden’s campaign during the 2020 presidential race.