Sam Bankman-Fried charged with using $100M in stolen funds for political contributions 

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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried allegedly used $100 million in funds he stole from his customers to make political campaign contributions ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, federal prosecutors wrote in a superseding indictment Monday.

The prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried embezzled customer deposits to, among other accusations, “help fund over a hundred million dollars in campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans to seek to influence cryptocurrency regulation.” This comes just days after Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sent him to jail, saying that there was probable cause to suggest Bankman-Fried had attempted to “tamper with witnesses at least twice” since his December arrest.

He had previously been under house arrest facing allegations that he defrauded his investors and unlawfully diverted millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency from FTX customers. The new charges in the superseding indictment allege that Bankman-Fried also directed two FTX executives to avoid political contribution limits and conceal where the money was coming from.

“[Bankman-Fried] was able to evade restrictions on certain types of political contributions, and thereby maximize FTX’s political influence,” the indictment reads. “He leveraged this influence, in turn, to lobby Congress and regulatory agencies to support legislation and regulation he believed would make it easier for FTX to continue to accept customer deposits and grow, which would, in turn, allow the misappropriation scheme to continue.”

The indictment also alleges he “used these connections with politicians and government officials to falsely burnish the public image of FTX as a legitimate exchange.”

The Hill has reached out to Bankman-Fried’s legal team for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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