Campaign finance charges against Sam Bankman-Fried are still on the table and will be included in an indictment next week against the founder of failed crypto exchange FTX, prosecutors said in a letter to a Manhattan federal judge on Tuesday.
Bankman-Fried faces decades in prison if convicted on the original seven-count indictment, which centers around an alleged multibillion-dollar fraud against FTX investors. However, the government had been forced to drop additional allegations of campaign finance fraud in July because of the terms of the U.S. extradition treaty with the Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried and his company were based.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York now says that the forthcoming indictment “will make clear that Mr. Bankman-Fried remains charged with conducting an illegal campaign finance scheme.” The government will incorporate it within two of the charges that are still standing — wire fraud and money laundering.
The treaty with Bahamas prevents prosecutors from adding further charges against someone who has been extradited without first getting permission from the other government. The U.S. government had asked the Bahamas to extradite Bankman-Fried on a seven-count indictment. But prosecutors didn’t get clearance from the Bahamas to add further charges of campaign finance and bribery to Bankman-Fried’s indictment.
Bankman-Fried is accused of conspiring to launder customer money to finance his lavish lifestyle influence politicians. His trial is expected to begin in October, which would be 11 months after FTX filed for bankruptcy.
A spokesperson for Bankman-Fried declined to comment.
— CNBC’s Dawn Giel contributed to this report.