DOJ Bins FTX Founder’s Campaign Finance Charges

  • Federal prosecutors do not intend to press charges against FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried for U.S. campaign finance violations.
  • The Department of Justice wrote that SBF’s December extradition agreement with the Bahamas government did not include campaign finance charges.
  • Prosecutors also want to review Bankman-Fried’s $250 million bail relief after the accused leaked Caroline Ellison’s private diary to the New York Times.

Federal prosecutors do not plan to press charges against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried for alleged campaign finance lawbreaking due to a legal bind in extradition papers signed with the Bahamas government.

Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas to the United States on December 21 following his earlier arrest in Nassau. At the time, the Department of Justice had indicted SBF on eight charges including violating U.S. campaign finance rules. The charges have increased to 12 counts since then.

However, court documents show that these charges were omitted from the extradition papers issued by Bahamian authorities. The DOJ intends to drop this charge from its prosecution of Bankman-Fried citing “treaty obligations”, United States Attorney Damian Williams wrote on Wednesday to Judge Lewis Kaplan.

The Government has been informed that The Bahamas notified the United States earlier today that The Bahamas did not intend to extradite the defendant on the campaign contributions count. Accordingly, in keeping with its treaty obligations to The Bahamas, the Government does not intend to proceed to trial on the campaign contributions count.

SBF and his FTX crypto exchange reportedly donated tens of millions of dollars to bipartisan candidates in a bid to boost Bankman-Fried’s social capital. Prosecutors argue that the former FTX boss made these donations with stolen customer funds.

Bankman-Fried’s $250 Million Bail Reviewed In FTX Case

The DOJ requested a review of SBF’s bail agreement after the accused leaked the diary of Caroline Ellison, Alameda’s former CEO and Bankman-Fried’s supposed girlfriend. SBF’s diary leak to the New York Times affects the trial and could be considered witness tampering, U.S. attorneys argued.

Judge Kaplan issued a gag order on SBF, meaning that Bankman-Fried is legally bound from speaking to the press or making any “extrajudicial statements”. Federal prosecutors and SBF’s lawyers are expected to file arguments regarding Bankman-Fried’s detention terms moving forward.