The latest report suggests that disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried had donated millions of dollars to ‘dark money’ groups, as per the documents fetched by the prosecutors. These donations were largely to politically active groups during the 2022 election cycle.
FTX Founder’s “Dark” Contributions
The released documents offer a comprehensive view of Bankman-Fried and his associates’ contributions to “dark money” organizations. Testimony from Nishad Singh, FTX’s former head of engineering, has revealed Bankman-Fried’s use of a private signal chat, “Donation Processing,” to request contributions in Singh’s name. Barbara Fried, Bankman-Fried’s mother, similarly urged donations, made by her son, to be attributed to Singh, as per evidence related to an FTX lawsuit
In an interview last year, Bankman-Fried explained that he made “dark” contributions to maintain privacy about his support for Republican-leaning organizations. While discreetly backing conservative dark money groups, he presented a public image that strongly aligned with the Democratic Party.
Prosecutors Provide Evidence of Donations
On Monday, prosecutors submitted a list of organizations that received donations from Bankman-Fried and his associates. Later, on Wednesday, they presented charts illustrating the utilization of millions of dollars from FTX customers and affiliated accounts, linked to the cryptocurrency firm, for political contributions orchestrated by Bankman-Fried and his allies.
The documents make it evident that among the former FTX executives and the company itself, Bankman-Fried was the primary contributor of “dark money.”
Ryan Salame, the former CEO of FTX’s digital markets division, donated millions to Republican political action committees and related “dark money” groups using funds from FTX’s associated hedge fund, Alameda Research, as outlined in the documents. Salame had previously pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance and money-transmitting offenses.
Caroline Ellison, who managed Alameda, was also noted for providing millions to right-leaning nonprofit organizations, as per the documents. Earlier this week during her testimony, Ellison revealed how SBF directed her to commit crimes.
While the government watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, initially estimated Bankman-Fried’s “dark money” donations at around $37 million. The documents filed by prosecutors this week reveal that his donations reached approximately $47 million during the 2022 cycle alone.
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