Disgraced crypto kingpin Sam Bankman-Fried was charged Tuesday with illegally steering tens of millions of dollars to federal political campaigns, a key footnote in what prosecutors call "one of the biggest financial frauds in American history." The campaign finance allegations have intensified the political shockwaves of FTX's collapse and Bankman-Fried's arrest after his dramatic ascendance as one of the most prolific political donors, Axios reports. "All of this dirty money was used in service of Bankman-Fried's desire to buy bipartisan influence and impact the direction of public policy in Washington," said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.
Bankman-Fried's attorney, Mark Cohen, said he "is reviewing the charges with his legal team and considering all of his legal options.” Bankman-Fried gave tens of millions to Democratic candidates and groups this cycle. He has said he also made large contributions to Republican political candidates, but did so in a way that hid the donations. "All my Republican donations were dark," Bankman-Fried said last month. [R]eporters freak the f**k out if you donate to a Republican because they’re all super liberal. And I didn’t want to have that fight, so I just made all the Republican ones dark." Bankman-Fried estimated he was actually the "second or third biggest" Republican donor in the U.S. during the 2022 midterms but that he was able to shield those donations from public view. The federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday includes eight charges — including one that Bankman-Fried conspired to violate a federal law barring campaign contributions knowingly made in the name of another person.