SBF "confessed" making dark money donations, prompting FEC investigation

By: Micheal Wilson

SBF "confessed" making dark money donations, prompting FEC investigation

December 9, 2022 5:02 AM

In the past, Sam Bankman-Fried has admitted to crypto blogger Tiffany Fong that all of his donations to the Republican Party "were dark."

A watchdog group has requested an investigation into the political donations made by former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. The group claims that Bankman-Fried has admitted to making illegal contributions of tens of millions of dollars to the Republican Party.

Comments made by Bankman-Fried in an interview with cryptocurrency vlogger Tiffany Fong on November 16 were released on YouTube on November 29 and were the basis for a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on December 8 by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

According to CREW's complaint, affluent donors frequently use intermediaries and claim ignorance of where the donations ended up to circumvent federal disclosure regulations in light of the Citizens United verdict. However, Bankman-statement Fried's eliminates this plausible deniability. Donald Sherman, the senior vice president and chief counsel of CREW, says:

"The silent segment was spoken aloud by Bankman-Fried. He needs to be held responsible for breaking federal laws meant to provide Americans with information about who is supporting elections."

CREW has requested that the FEC look into the incident and take all necessary measures, including possibly sending the case to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.

The group said that Bankman-Fried committed "direct and significant violations" of the Federal Election Campaign Act, which mandates the reporting of political donations of more than $200 per year.

Bankman-Fried said he had "donated roughly the same to both parties" in an interview with Fong on November 16; given that he is listed as the Democrats' second-largest donor on OpenSecrets, these "dark" donations seem to be quite sizeable.

SBF started off by saying, "All my Republican donations were dark," and then continued:

"The rationale was not for regulatory reasons; rather, it was because reporters freak the fuck out if you donate to Republicans, and they are all incredibly liberal, and I did not want to have that argument."

Since his fall from grace, Bankman-Fried has been engaging in what amounts to an apology tour, making public appearances everywhere from the DealBook Summit of The New York Times to Good Morning America and numerous Twitter Spaces.

He has said over and over that his lawyers have told him to stay out of the spotlight and say nothing, thus he is going against their advice by giving these interviews.