US Prosecutors Probe Sam Bankman Fried’s (SBF) Political Donations 

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
US Prosecutors Probe Sam Bankman Fried’s (SBF) Political Donations 
Photo: Unsplash

Federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York are investigating the political donations made by SBF during his time at FTX.

The political donations of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) are reportedly under intense review by US prosecutors. During his time at the helm of FTX, the former CEO made substantial donations to Democrats and Republicans. However, according to reports, some of SBF’s political beneficiaries have returned the donations or given them to charity following FTX’s collapse.

Amid ongoing investigations into Bankman-Fried’s dealings at FTX, US federal prosecutors contacted several Democratic members from various working committees. These committees include the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the United States Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). After ordering SBF’s arrest in the Bahamas last Monday, federal prosecutors also reached out to Congressman Hakeem Jeffries to aid their investigations. Furthermore, inside sources stated that these prosecutors are investigating another FTX executive’s donations to Republican campaigns and committees. According to these sources, the unnamed FTX executive was a prominent financier on the right.

The Southern District of New York’s US attorney office is behind these investigations and is gleaning as much information as possible regarding SBF’s donations. However, despite what these investigations might suggest, federal prosecutors appear to focus on potential violations by crypto executives rather than politicians. The SBF political donations probe also broadens an explosive campaign finance scandal. Furthermore, the accompanying ongoing investigations are gaining widespread attention because Bankman-Fried was the Democrat’s second-largest individual benefactor. According to Open Secrets, the total amount of funds he contributed to the left-leaning US political party is approximately $40 million for the 2021/22 political cycle.

Political Beneficiaries to Return SBF Donations

Following the FTX collapse and subsequent scrutiny of investigations, three prominent Democratic groups reportedly decided to return SBF’s donations to the exchange’s bewildered investors. On December 17th, the DNC, the DCC, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pledged to return more than $1 million of political donations to FTX victims. Confirming the decision during a media session at the time, a DNC spokesperson said:

“Given the allegations around potential campaign finance violations by Bankman-Fried, we are setting aside funds in order to return the $815,000 in contributions since 2020. We will return as soon as we receive proper direction in the legal proceedings.”

The remaining two Committees, DSCC, and DCCC, also reportedly look to return $103,000 and $250,000, respectively.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, newly-elected Rep. Max Frost also confirmed last week that he would donate SBF’s contributions to the Zebra Coalition, a Florida-based that caters to LGBTQ+ youth. Speaking on the need to dispatch the disgraced former FTX CEO’s donations elsewhere, Frost explained:

“It seems clear that Sam Bankman Fried cheated and conned over a million people out of their money. Many of these being working class families that lost their life savings. I never solicited a donation from SBF, but he did donate to my campaign.”

SBF was arrested in the Bahamas early last week on an 8-count charge of financial and elections fraud by the US government and faces US extradition.

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