U.S. Prosecutors Request More Information on SBF’s Political Donations

  • New York Times sources have noted that federal prosecutors are digging deeper into the political donations made by Sam Bankman-Fried and his colleagues.
  • While the former FTX CEO had donated around $40 million to Democrats in the last election cycle, Democratic groups have so far vowed to return only around $2 million.
judge

Shutterstock

U.S. prosecutors are digging deeper into former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s political donations, and have requested more information from members of the Democratic Party, the New York Times has reported.

The publication cited people familiar with the matter, who said prosecutors from the Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York had sent emails to Elias Law Group — a law firm representing a large umber of prominent Democratic groups — shortly after the arrest of SBF, requesting more information about the donations made by the former CEO, his colleagues, and the companies he co-founded. Similar emails were also sent to other members of the Democratic and Republican parties.

The individuals noted that the Department of Justice (DoJ) inquiries appear to be an effort to gather more evidence against SBF and other FTX executives — such as Ryan Salame, who donated around $24 million primarily to Republican candidates and committees — rather than against the political groups.

Last Friday, several Democratic groups — including the Democratic National Committee, as well as the Senate and House campaign committees — had reportedly decided to return more than $1 million in donations they received from SBF, and were just waiting to receive proper directions in the legal proceedings. The Senate Majority PAC — which received $1 million from SBF — also claimed it had set aside money to be returned to affected FTX users.

Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas last Monday, and was later charged with eight counts of financial crimes by the DoJ, CFTC, and SEC. One of his charges was violating U.S. campaign finance laws, accusing SBF of disguising his donations in the name of another person, and using stolen customer money.

Discussion
Related Coverage
New FTX CEO Considers Restarting the Exchange
  • The new CEO of FTX, John J. Ray III, told the Wall Street Journal that had formed a task force to explore the option of restarting the international exchange.
  • Ray noted he was willing to revive the platform if that could recover more value for the company’s customers than liquidating its assets.
January 19, 2023, 6:42 PM
FTX

Shutterstock

DoJ Seizes 55M Robinhood Shares Connected to Sam Bankman-Fried
  • The U.S. Department of Justice has seized close to $470 million in Robinhood stock, and an additional $20 million in U.S. currency, as part of its criminal case against Sam Bankman-Fried.
  • Lawyers for SBF argued last week that the Robinhood shares were bought legitimately by SBF, using money borrowed from Alameda, and that he was relying on them to fund his defense.
Sam Bankman-Fried Tries to Keep Ownership of $450M in Robinhood Shares
  • Lawyers for SBF are seeking to block debtors from taking control over $450 million in Robinhood shares, arguing that SBF was relying on his stake to fund his criminal defense.
  • Another argument was that SBF had legitimately bought the shares using money borrowed from Alameda Research, one of the few loans that was well documented in the company.