Sam Bankman-Fried Slapped with Campaign Finance Complaint over GOP Dark Money Donations

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive officer of FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange, speaks during the Bloomberg Crypto Summit in New York, US, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. The Bloomberg Crypto Summit brings together top names from the worlds of tokens, blockchain, Web3, NFTs, decentralized finance, economics, investing, venture capital, and …
Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was slapped with a campaign finance complaint for alleged “serious violations” of election law as he said he made “dark money” contributions to Republicans and Republican groups during the 2022 primary season.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed the complaint to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), which alleged that he donated up to $37 million or more to Republican-linked groups to avoid public disclosure of his contributions.

“The case did not, however, permit organizations to act as pass-throughs for others’ contributions, or to make independent expenditures while keeping secret their own contributors,” the CREW complaint explained.

A spokesman for Bankman-Fried did not have an immediate comment on the complaint; the FEC did not respond to CNBC regarding the news outlet’s request for comment.

Bankman-Fried said in a mid-November interview that all his donations to Republicans were “dark,” or were not disclosed to the public.

“I donated to both parties. I donated about the same amount to both parties this year,” the former FTX CEO said. He went on:

That was not generally known, because despite [the Supreme Court decision known as] Citizens United being literally the highest-profile Supreme Court case of the decade and the thing everyone talks about when they talk about campaign finance, for some reason, in practice, no one could possibly fathom the idea that someone in practice actually gave dark.

“All my Republican donations were dark,” Bankman-Fried admitted. However, he claims it was not a “regulatory” reason; he said that he donated “dark” to avoid the scrutiny of “liberal” reporters.

“It’s because reporters freak the f— out if you donate to a Republican because they’re all super liberal. And I didn’t want to have that fight. So, I made all the Republican ones dark. But, whatever, [indiscernible] the second or third biggest Republican donor this year as well,” Bankman-Fried said.

He said that all of his donations were during the primary season.

“I didn’t give anything to the general election because I don’t give a s— about the general election. It’s all that matters. Like, it’s the primaries where the good candidates against bad candidates,” he explained.

The CREW complaint said Bankman-Fried was able to skirt campaign finance law.

“Taking him at his word, Mr. Bankman-Fried was therefore able to direct approximately $37 million, and potentially much more, to influence federal elections while evading federal laws that require disclosure of the true source of contributions,” the complaint elaborated.

Donald Sherman, CREW’s general counsel, said, “He admitted that he violated federal laws designed to ensure Americans have transparency into those funding elections and now needs to be held accountable.”

The campaign finance complaint arises as Bankman-Fried has said he is not able to testify before the House Financial Services Committee. House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) said a subpoena for Bankman-Fried is “definitely on the table.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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