Bankman-Fried faces new criminal charges

Bankman-Fried faces new criminal charges

Sam Bankman-Fried has been hit with four new criminal charges accusing the FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder of conspiring to commit bank fraud and to make unlawful political contributions.

The charges, which come in a superseding indictment filed in a federal court, are on top of eight previous charges. Bankman-Fried has already pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges.

According to prosecutors, Bankman-Fried conspired with two former FTX executives to donate tens of millions of dollars in an effort to influence politicians to pass legislation that would help the company.

The donations were made through "straw" donors or with corporate funds, helping Bankman-Fried to evade contribution limits, says the indictment.

Bankman-Fried was arrested in December and in January pleaded not guilty to charges including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to misuse customer funds.

Two high-level associates, Carolyn Ellison and Gary Wang, had already pleaded guilty to several charges and are co-operating with a wide-ranging investigation into criminal activities at the bankrupt exchange.

"Exploiting the trust that FTX customers placed in him and his exchange, Bankman-Fried stole FTX customer deposits, and used billions of dollars in stolen funds for a variety of purposes," says the new indictment.

A trial date has been set for October, with Bankman-Fried facing more than 100 years in prison if convicted.

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