by Cullen McCue at trendingpoliticsnews.com
Federal prosecutors have pushed back five charges against disgraced cryptocurrency mogul and Democrat megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried, who was arrested after the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
Bankman-Fried, who is commonly referred to as SBF, was arrested late last year and charged with eight federal counts. Original charges included conspiracy to commit wire fraud and campaign finance violations. Additionally, over $8 billion of FTX customer deposits were found to be missing.
Prosecutors have alleged that Bankman-Fried took billions from customers for personal use, including luxury real estate and political donations. The scheme fell apart when the cryptocurrency market collapsed last year, officials said.
In January, an attorney for FTX testified that SBF used a secret backdoor to launder money to Alameda Research, an FTX sister company. Caroline Ellison, the former girlfriend of SBF and CEO of Alameda Research, cut a deal with prosecutors in which she admitted that the couple conspired to mislead FTX customers and investors.
On Thursday, federal prosecutors in New York offered to sever five additional charges against Bankman-Fried if the judge agrees to try him on those charges later. The five additional charges were added after Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas, where his cryptocurrency exchange was headquartered.
The withdrawn charges include fraud relating to a scheme where SBF allegedly created a fake company with no staff to get around being barred from a California bank account, and a bribery conspiracy charge alleging that he spent $40 million trying to influence a Chinese government official.
Bankman-Fried donated tens-of-millions of dollars to mostly Democrats throughout the 2022 midterm elections cycle and was the party’s second biggest donor of the cycle.
In total, Bankman’s Fried’s Protect Our Future PAC supported 25 Democrats in Congressional races in 2022, contributing to wins in 18 of them. A number of those wins were in the column of newly elected Democrats, including multiple pick-ups. Bankman-Fried donated $27 million to the PAC and made a number of additional dark money donations, according to a report from Open Secrets.
He also made a sizable $5 million donation to President Biden’s campaign in 2020.read more