SBF Perpetrated ‘One of the Biggest Financial Frauds in American History,’ Says US Attorney

“We are not done” with charges, US Attorney Damian Williams said


US Attorney of the Southern District of New York Damian Williams | Ron Adar/ modified by Blockworks


United States agencies teamed up to deliver joint statements regarding Sam Bankman-Fried’s indictment Tuesday. 

The US Attorney of the Southern District of New York hosted a press conference Tuesday alongside the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. 

US Attorney Damian Williams called Bankman-Fried’s crimes some of the worst the country has ever seen. 

“It’s so hard to compare these things, but by anyone’s light this is one of the biggest financial frauds in American history,” Williams said. 

In addition to the alleged financial crimes associated with the exchange and sister company Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried is also being accused of making illegal campaign donations to candidates.

“All of this dirty money was used in service of Bankman-Fried’s desire to buy bipartisan influence and impact the direction of public policy in Washington,” Williams said.

This is not the first time the disgraced founder’s political donations have been questioned. Nonprofit Citizens for Ethics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month accusing Bankman-Fried of donating nearly $40 million in dark money to politicians.

The complaint noted that “Bankman-Fried admitted he transferred funds “to Republicans” to influence “primaries” because that’s “where the good candidates” are elevated “against bad candidates.”

The criminal charges against Bankman-Fried, which include wire fraud and money laundering, were authorized last week on Dec. 7 and Bankman-Fried was indicted in the Southern District of New York on Dec. 9. 

He was taken into custody in the Bahamas on Monday and is currently being held there as extradition proceedings are ongoing, Williams added. 

When asked if there will be additional indictments against other individuals involved with FTX, Williams said more charges should be expected. 

“I can only say this clearly, we are not done,” Williams said. He declined to comment on individuals who were cooperating with the investigation. 

The press conference came the same day as the House Financial Services Committee gathered to hear testimony from new FTX CEO John Ray. After four hours of questioning Tuesday, the committee moved to resume the hearing in the new year. 

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