Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX Founder, Facing New Criminal Charges and Allegations of Political Donations

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, is facing four new criminal charges in addition to the eight already pending against him in a Manhattan federal court.[0] The additional charges include allegations of illegal political donations and bank fraud.

The indictment reveals that Bankman-Fried is accused of misusing billions of dollars in customers’ funds and making hundreds of illegal political donations totaling tens of millions of dollars.[1] He also allegedly tried to purchase influence over cryptocurrency regulation in Washington, D.C. by steering illegal campaign contributions to both Democrats and Republicans.[1]

In an effort to reclaim the political donations, three major Democratic organizations are returning 2.2% of the funds, or $1 million, to the now-defunct crypto exchange.[2] The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is allocating $815,000 out of the $1 million to be returned to the bankrupt estate.[3]

Bankman-Fried was reported to have donated $5.2 million to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020 and well over $40 million to other Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm election.[2] Furthermore, Ryan Salame, former co-chief executive officer of FTX Digital Markets, and Nishad Singh, FTX’s former director of engineering, were among the largest political donors in the FTX universe, giving $70.5 million in the 2022 midterm elections.[4]

The FTX founder also allegedly violated federal campaign finance laws by making secret donations to a congressional super PAC using the names of two executives.[5] In one instance, shortly before the midterm elections, an FTX employee was allegedly directed to wire $107,000 from Bankman-Fried's personal account to the New York State Democratic Committee under the name of another person.[0]

The indictment encompasses bank fraud, violations of money-transmitting regulations, and requests for the forfeiture of assets.[6] Assets held in Binance accounts, over 55 million shares in Robinhood Markets (a commission-free investment and trading app), and more than $170 million in cash previously held at Silvergate Bank and other banks are all included.[6]

FTX has requested that recipients of political donations return the money, though it is unclear as to how much of the money has been returned to date.[7]

0. “FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried indicted on new criminal charges” CNN, 23 Feb. 2023,

1. “Bankman-Fried Hit With Four New Criminal Charges Alleging Illegal Political Donations And Bank Fraud” Forbes, 23 Feb. 2023,

2. “Democrats Give Back Less Than 3% of $45.2M Donation from FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried” Cryptonews, 20 Feb. 2023,

3. “Democrats to Return 2.2% of $45.2 Million Donation Made by FTX's Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried – Bitcoin News” Bitcoin News, 19 Feb. 2023,

4. “FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried was just hit with 4 more criminal charges including bank fraud” Fortune, 23 Feb. 2023,

5. “FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces four new criminal charges” Engadget, 23 Feb. 2023,

6. “Bankman-Fried charged with 4 new counts” Crain's Chicago Business, 23 Feb. 2023,

7. “More Charges For Sam Bankman-Fried, Outlines FTX Founder's Contributions To Politicians To Curry” Crowdfund Insider, 23 Feb. 2023,

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