Charges Dropped Against Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto-currency fraudster accused of a laundry list of felony counts, got some rare good news Wednesday when federal prosecutors dropped campaign violation charges from his case.
The government said in a court filing that the Bahamas had informed them that the nation’s government had not intended to extradite Bankman-Fried on the campaign finance charge.
According to prosecutors, dropping the charge was a “procedural necessity,” as Bankman-Fried had won a ruling in the Bahamas granting him the ability to argue in court there that the Bahamian government should not consent to the additional charges.
For some, dropping the campaign finance charges doesn't mean Bankman-Fried is off the hook. The government intends to charge Bankman-Fried on the five counts it dropped in June. It also continues to litigate the campaign finance cases in the Bahamas.
John P. Fishwick Jr., a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, said 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.
According to the indictment, Bankman-Fried and others are accused of violating federal campaign finance laws by giving contributions of at least $25,000 to campaigns and political action committees in other people’s names.
Bankman-Fried is also accused of using money from his own customers to donate to Democrat candidates and causes with his name, ultimately donating over $40 million.
While Bankman-Fried has been treated with kid gloves during the whole process, the high-profile case raises questions about the motivations behind the government’s decision to drop the campaign violations and the potential consequences for those implicated.
Making matters even more complicated, Bankman-Fried’s donations include payments to well-known Democrat politicians such as Majority Leader and Speaker-in-waiting Hakeem Jeffries.
As the legal battle between Bankman-Fried and prosecutors continues, the questions about the case remain. Will the government be aggressive in pursuing the other charges against Bankman-Fried? And if so, do well-known Democrats stand to benefit from Bankman-Fried's misdeeds?
At this point in the case, it appears that Bankman-Fried may benefit from the government's mistake. But just how far this will go remains to be seen.