Biden's DOJ Drops Five Campaign Finance Charges Against Democrat Mega-Donor and Alleged Fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried

Crypto-currency fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried got a rare bit of good news Wednesday when federal prosecutors dropped campaign violation charges from the laundry list of felony counts he faces.

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Even though Bankman-Fried, or SBF as he’s affectionately known because it’s impossible for a supervillain to have the first name of “Sam,” has been treated with kid gloves during the whole process (see Sam Bankman-Fried Gets the American Oligarch Treatment After Bail Hearing), dropping the campaign finance charges doesn’t seem to be part of it.

But in a court filing on Wednesday night, the prosecutors said the Bahamas had informed them that the nation’s government had not intended to extradite Mr. Bankman-Fried on the campaign finance charge.

“In keeping with its treaty obligations to the Bahamas, the government does not intend to proceed to trial on the campaign contributions count,” the prosecutors’ filing said.

This is the second time Bankman-Fried has benefitted from government stupidity (“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”), in June, prosecutors dropped five other counts related to Bankman-Fried’s biblical scale defrauding of investors and customers.

Mr. Bankman-Fried has argued that prosecutors should not have been allowed to charge him with additional crimes after his extradition. But the withdrawal came with a major caveat: The prosecutors asked the judge overseeing the case, Lewis A. Kaplan of Federal District Court in Manhattan, to schedule a second trial in early 2024 on those five counts.

The prosecutors said the delay was a procedural necessity. This week, Mr. Bankman-Fried won a ruling in the Bahamas, where FTX was based, granting him the ability to argue in court there that the Bahamian government should not consent to the additional charges. That legal dispute could take months to unfold.

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Bankman-Fried had tried to establish himself as a power player in Democrat politics (An Illinois Congressman Running for Chicago Mayor Once Got $200,000 from Bankman-Fried While Running Unopposed), donating over $40 million to Democrat candidates and progressive causes. He not only used his money but used that of his customers for donations.

A separate but related federal criminal indictment accuses Bankman-Fried and others of violating numerous federal campaign finance laws by, among other things, giving contributions of at least $25,000 to campaigns and political action committees “in the names of other persons.”

Prosecutors said there was a conspiracy by Bankman-Fried and others to also make “corporate contributions” to candidates and political action committees in New York “that were reported in the name of another person,” according to the indictment.

The technical reprieve Bankman-Fried received on the campaign finance violations may not be worth very much to him.

John P. Fishwick Jr., a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, said prosecutors still had “overwhelming evidence against Sam Bankman-Fried.” He added that the removal of the campaign finance charge could work to the government’s advantage by making it a simpler fraud case to present to a jury.

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The government intends to charge Bankman-Fried on the five counts dropped in June. It continues to litigate the campaign finance cases in the Bahamas. It remains to be seen how aggressive they will be as the names of the beneficiaries will include such notables as Democrat Majority Leader and Speaker-in-waiting Hakeem Jeffries.

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