Feb 23, 2023

Crypto exchange FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces additional charges, including bank fraud allegations, under a new indictment unveiled Thursday morning.

Video transcript

The state of crypto is presented by Tron connecting the world to the power of Cryptocurrency. Welcome back everyone. It's time to check in with Coindesk global policy and regulation. Managing editor Nick Day who is also the editor of Coindesk must read State of crypto newsletter. Good morning, Nick. Hey, good morning. Well, it's a good morning for everyone except Sam. Bank man freed. Apparently he got hit with 12 more indictments. My goodness, it doesn't end for the poor guy. Not that I'm shedding any tears, but um tell, tell us more about these indictments because they involve bank fraud charges, which of course, um yeah, I, I'll, I'll let you explain what's going on here. Yeah. So this morning, federal prosecutors unveiled a superseding indictment of Samba and freed. Basically saying uh they're adding additional charges. The new indictment is 12 counts. You previously faced eight counts. Um As you mentioned, bank fraud is one of the new additional charges. There's also a charge tied to operating an unlicensed money transmitter and a charge uh slightly modifying his previous uh allegation that he uh tried to defraud the U S's, you know, with campaign finance violations. Uh just now, just a little bit more information, the indictment itself also has just a lot more information about all of the charges overall, you know, alleging that bank been freed. You know, basically, you know, said, you know, gave many lies committed many lies, uh, you know, kind of going further in on the fraud allegations and just providing more information overall about the, uh, evidence and about the investigations that prosecutors have conducted into Bank Manfred and FTX. Do I, I, is it solely based on FTX or does it involve Alameda as well? No, it involves Alameda. It involves, uh, you know, I haven't had a chance to read the entire thing yet. This is literally just coming out but uh it is fairly comprehensive about kind of the, you know, the body of companies that were involved, interesting that you mentioned campaign finance violations. So what exactly are those about? So we've seen this charge already in the original indictment. There were allegations that, uh, you know, there might have been, um, just some, you know, impropriety in how banker freed, uh donated money to uh various, you know, elected officials over the last year. Um Does this have anything to do with? He mentioned that with Republicans, he donated to Dark Pools and that eventually could. Yeah, I mean, the, the big thing is we're still trying to, I think, find concrete evidence that he's actually done. So, um, you know, one of the other issues is that, you know, Fried has occasionally been caught saying things that are untrue and in something like this. Um, you know, we've seen reporters try to verify whether or not he actually did donate and at the very least he didn't do it directly. As you mentioned, he might have used articles but you still have to, you know, there should be receipts or something somewhere that can tie him to these donations. I think they're still looking for evidence of that. But, you know, in court, we've heard, you know, prosecutors say that or alleged that um, you know, be fried might have just donated, you know, well, beyond normal limits and, uh, you know, things like that basically, uh you know, in an effort to sway, uh you know, certain elections, Nick quickly, uh New York and US authorities now are trying to block the sort of Bin Voyager deal. I'm just curious, what do you think is gonna happen with that? Seems like finance is not gonna give up easily, right? So this is probably the story is probably gonna go on for a while. Is, is my impression. I, I think it's gonna depend on, you know, what the judge rules. So, you know, the SEC has already filed just like multiple objections to the Binance Us and Voyager deal. So this is part of Voyager's bankruptcy process. Um, you know, the judge so far has seemed inclined to allow the deal to move forward. But we do know that, you know, the SEC and the FTC now are both investigating Voyager. So, you know what kind of wrench that might throw, throw in, into, into works? I'm not entirely sure, but there is a deadline of next week for this deal to be, you know, completely approved. So if a judge, you know, if the judge overseeing the bankruptcy of Voyager has any thoughts, he'll probably make them known in the next couple of days. Yeah, we all see regulars clamping down on crypto exchanges, uh, for selling unregistered securities where the New York State Attorneys General's office is now filing suit against crypto exchange coin. Uh, that happened on Wednesday arguing that it is an unregistered, unregistered securities broker and commodity broker dealer under state law, Nick, why are they going after coin? Um, I mean, the New York State Attorney General's office has kind of had, you know, we've seen the office go after crypto companies in the past. You know, most famous one would be Tetter, of course. And, um, but we've seen, you know, lawsuits inquiries, uh, investigations of other smaller crypto exchanges. The big thing here seems to be that they've tried to, uh, you know, subpoena this company called Coin and Coin ignored it, which I'm guessing kind of made it an easy decision to file a lawsuit for the Attorney General's office. Um, you know, I'm sure they've got other ongoing investigations. They've kind of, you know, they've reported and published information about some of those. But if you're going to ignore a subpoena, then that's more or less just kind of inviting, you know, the NYAG to come in and say, ok, yeah, we want you out.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to coindesk.consensus.com to register and buy your pass now.