Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested on Monday in the Bahamas at the request of the U.S. government, U.S. and Bahamian authorities, on federal charges filed in the U.S. The indictment in U.S. District Court in Manhattan charges Bankman-Fried with eight criminal counts: conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, individual charges of securities fraud and wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to avoid campaign finance regulations.
It’s a massive crime. $8 billion money sucked from small users and then given away to left-leaning causes. In the US, nine members of House Financial Services Committee received $300,000, according to a review of Federal Election Commission records by the Washington Free Beacon.
The owner of the FTX operation, Sam Bankman-Fried was a major contributor to Democratic candidates during the midterm election cycle, funneling most of his donations through a political action committee called Protect Our Future PAC. (Fox Business)
So far, Rep. Chuy Garcia, a Democrat from Illinois, is the only member of the committee who publicly pledged to return a $2,900 contribution from FTX leaders. The lawmaker was also the beneficiary of a nearly $200,000 ad blitz funded by Protect Our Future PAC.
Bankman-Fried funneled an estimated $262,200 to Republicans throughout the 2021-2022 election cycle, according to FEC records. His contributions to Republicans paled in comparison to the nearly $40 million he contributed to Democratic campaigns but still represented a significant sum, compared to most Americans.
The indictment also accuses Bankman-Fried of violating political contribution laws by donating to candidates and committees in New York under another person’s name. Bankman-Fried made “tens of millions of dollars” in contributions to both Democrats and Republicans in order to sway public policy, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said during a press conference in Manhattan on Tuesday.
“These contributions were disguised to look like they were coming from wealthy co-conspirators when, in fact, the contributions were funded by Alameda Research with stolen customer money,” he said.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency that regulates the financial markets, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed charges against Bankman-Fried.
“We allege that Sam Bankman-Fried built a house of cards on a foundation of deception while telling investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler added in announcing the agency’s charges.
FTX CEO John Ray III, testifying before Congress threw the young management team under the bus and laid the blame for the cryptocurrency exchange’s collapse on founder and former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried and his top executives saying they gambled with customers’ money without any safeguards to protect their investments. (They ran the entire operation’s finances on Quickbooks, a small business software program that falls far short of the sophisticated accounting required by regulatory bodies elsewhere.)
“The FTX group’s collapse appears to stem from absolute concentration of control in the hands of a small group of grossly inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals who failed to implement virtually any of the systems or controls that are necessary for a company entrusted with other people’s money or assets,” Ray said.
Congressman asking questions of Democrats and especially Maxine Waters
Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, says it ‘seems logical’ that disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried embezzled money. Rep. Gooden, who was at Tuesday’s hearing where senior executives from FTX were appearing in Congress (not SBF), expressed he looks forward to questioning FTX execs on Bankman-Fried’s donations to Democrats.
In a heated moment during Tuesday’s hearing, Gooden called out House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters for attempting to end the session without letting him question John Ray III.
“It was very strange. One, she wanted to end the hearing. Two, there was a vote that was taking place, but the vote was called 30 minutes before that exchange,” Gooden explained. “We could have had a recess, everyone could have gone to vote, and we come back and finish the hearing. I don’t know why she wanted to end the hearing. I wanted to ask many more questions than I had the time to ask.”
Waters allegedly received contributions from Bankman-Fried, and footage from a hearing last December of the Chairwoman blowing a kiss to the then-CEO is re-circulating on Twitter.
CAUGHT: Maxine Waters appears to blow a kiss at FTX’s chief fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried at a Congressional hearing while the cameras were still rolling— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 18, 2022
She’s the one who’s supposed to grill SBF next month?
“I had just witnessed the whole hearing and no one was really talking about donations, they’re still not, by the way. And so I’m going to continue to ask that question. I want us to get answers from people that took money from them,” Gooden said. “And I want to know why they’re not returning these funds, because we’ve got Americans that want to be made whole and they’ll probably never be. But at least some portion of those funds could be returned.”