U.S. prosecutors in New York charged Democrat super-donor and disgraced crypto CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with making “tens of millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions.”
A magistrate in the Bahamas denied bail on the grounds SBF, as he is known, is a flight risk. SBF plans to fight extradition from the Bahamas, but fighting extradition is generally a losing proposition. I know that from handling several extradition hearings myself as a criminal defense attorney. Expect SBF to be returned to the U.S. to face charges.
There is speculation SBF was arrested so he wouldn’t have to testify before Congress and face questions that would embarrass his political cronies. In any event, prosecutors say SBF stole billions of dollars from his FTX crypto customers and used it for his personal benefit, to finance his hedge fund, and to make illicit campaign donations.
Some of the donations, the indictment alleges, were made through other people to skirt campaign finance contribution limits for the 2022 midterms and other elections. These are called ‘straw donations’ and they’re illegal. “These contributions were disguised to look like they were coming from wealthy co-conspirators, when in fact the contributions were funded by [SBF’s hedge fund] with stolen customer money,” the lead prosecutor said.
The contributions totaled more than $70 million in the last 18 months, mostly going to Democrats and left-leaning groups, making SBF the second largest donor to Democrats after George Soros. Over $5 million went to the Big Guy, Joe Biden’s campaign. A Democrat superPAC called Protect Our Future got $27 million to help elect candidates focusing on pandemic prevention. That group poured $10 million into a Democrat congressional campaign in Oregon, but the candidate lost in the Democrat primary. Another $7 million went to other Democrat superPACs focusing on congressional races. SBF personally contributed the individual maximum of $5,800 to Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow and Republican Senator John Boozman to influence the way they were writing a crypto regulation bill. Liberal Republicans in Name Only – RINOs – Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine also received the individual maximum from SBF. My National RINO Hunt Team is especially interested in Collins and Murkowski because they stand in the way of returning the Republican Party to a party of principle again.
Some politicians are returning SBF’s donations – Kirsten Gillibrand, Dick Durbin, and others. So far, the Big Guy – Joe Biden – hasn’t and deflects questions when asked.
One interesting aside in all this is SBF’s support for something called ‘effective altruism’, a school of philanthropic thought that looks through data for the biggest bang for the buck and focuses on long-term threats to humanity. This is why SBF gave $27 million to Protect Our Future, mentioned earlier, which supports preparedness for the next pandemic. Sounds benign, but a big proponent of effective altruism is ethicist Peter Singer who thinks we should kill the elderly who have dementia to reduce their suffering and give parents who can’t take care of their newborns the right to kill them. Swell guy. SBF has been called naïve for dabbling in causes he doesn’t really understand. Learn from SBF’s mistakes and don’t let that happen to you. Oh, and don’t trust anybody under 30.
But back to the main point for today:
Politicians take money from sketchy people all the time. The question is what did the Democrats and RINOs who took money from SBF know about him stealing money from his customers and when did they know it – before or after accepting his campaign contributions. I hope we find out.