New York (CNN) Federal prosecutors announced four more criminal charges against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of crypto trading platform FTX, expanding his potential liability in what authorities believe was a billion-dollar fraud.
Bankman-Fried was charged in December in an eight-count indictment. An indictment was unsealed on Thursday adding new charges for a total of 12 charges, including conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transfer business, conspiracy to commit fraud banking and securities fraud.
Bankman-Fried, who was released on $250 million bond, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges announced in December, including one count of conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws. At the time, he was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy and wire fraud and conspiracy to violate US campaign finance laws by making political donations through fictitious donors.
The FTX founder made more than 300 illegal political contributions through straw donors totaling tens of millions of dollars paid by Alameda and FTX funds, according to a newly unsealed indictment.
Although SBF personally became one of the largest publicly declared political donors to the 2022 midterm elections, he fraudulently made pre-midterm donations on behalf of two FTC executives to bolster his influence, according to the court record.
Bankman-Fried developed a strategy for making political donations across the political spectrum, not wanting to appear leftist or have his name publicly attached to Republican candidates, the indictment says, so he would make certain contributions to the name of its leaders that he thought would do the trick better.
SBF wanted to keep Republican contributions “obscure,” according to the indictment, so those donations were made via an FTX executive identified only as CC-2 in the indictment, who publicly identified himself. aligned with the Conservatives.
Bankman-Fried conspired to contribute “at least $1 million” to a super PAC that supported a candidate vying for a seat in the United States Congress and appeared to be affiliated with pro-LGBTQ issues, according to the indictment. ‘charge.
This contribution was made on behalf of another FTX executive because “there was no trusted person at FTX (who was) bi/gay ‘able to make the contribution,'” the new indictment states.
Despite the employee’s unease with the situation, a political consultant working for SBF told the executive, identified in the indictment as CC-1, “in general, you being the center left face of our spending will mean you give a lot of woke shit for transactional purposes.”
In another instance, shortly before the 2022 midterm elections, an FTX employee was instructed to wire $107,000 from Bankman-Fried’s account to the New York State Democratic Committee through this executive of FTX.
The executive eventually became nominally one of the biggest Democratic donors in the 2022 midterm elections, advancing the Bankman-Fried agenda with donations the leaders would not have made on their own, depending on the file.
In November 2022, prior to the impending indictment, this executive expressed concern to SBF in chat messages regarding “perhaps 80 million” in “donations/personal/etc” that came through his bank account in his name. The two men discussed plans to conceal the wire transfers on the company’s books, but ultimately never made the transactions that would have further concealed the campaign finance plan, the indictment says.
SBF planned the political contribution program with co-conspirators in a self-deleting messaging chat called “donation processing,” the indictment says.
The donations were made with money from Alameda’s bank accounts, including funds from FTX customers which were then transferred to the personal accounts of the straw donors who made the contributions. Transfers out were concealed in internal corporate records as expenses or loans to these executives.
No other co-conspirators are charged in the new indictment released Thursday.
It is not yet known when SBF will be arraigned on the four new charges listed in the 12-count indictment.