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SBF’s mom ‘pressured son to break campaign finance law’


Sam Bankman-Fried’s mother urged her son to “avoid” disclosing millions of dollars in FTX donations to her pro-Democrat political action committee, according to a bombshell lawsuit.

Barbara Fried, a Stanford Law School professor, headed the Mind the Gap super PAC and advised the FTX founder — in details that included paranthesis — to make the donations through his underlings “to “avoid (if not violate) federal campaign finance disclosure rules,” creditors for the doomed crypto firm claimed in the lawsuit obtained by The Post.

FTX CEO John Ray III, who took over the company after it imploded last November, sued Fried and her husband, Joseph Bankman, in a Delaware bankruptcy court Monday in an attempt to claw back billions of dollars following the firm’s collapse.

The lawsuit also alleged that Bankman, an expert in tax law, held an advisory role at Arabella Advisors, a consulting firm that provides services to the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a pro-Democrat “dark money” group founded by a former Clinton administration official.

Bankman-Fried has been accused by federal prosecutors of funneling $100 million in political donations through “straw donors” including Nishad Singh, the former head of engineering at FTX and sister company Alameda Research, and Ryan Salame, another former top executive at the company.


Barbara Fried, Sam Bankman-Fried’s mother, pressured executives at her son’s doomed cryptocurrency exchange FTX to break campaign finance laws, it was alleged in a lawsuit.
REUTERS

Singh and Salame copped pleas and may testify at Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial, which is slated to begin in New York on Oct. 2.

Bankman-Fried’s parents have not been accused of any wrongdoing, but FTX’s lawsuit claims both sucked millions from the company — once valued at $32 billion — before their son’s downfall.

The lawsuit paints Fried’s stewardship of Mind the Gap, which solicited money from Silicon Valley executives to support Democratic candidates, as one marked by “stealth” and a “cone of silence.”

She “focused heavily on masking Bankman-Fried’s identity as a political donor,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit alleged that Singh “served as a conduit through which FTX Group passed to recipients hand-selected by Fried and rubber-stamped by Bankman-Fried.”

According to Federal Election Commision records, Singh contributed roughly $9.7 million between 2020 and 2022 to various Democratic candidates and committees.


Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of FTX, is awaiting federal trial on charges of fraud and money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty.
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of FTX, is awaiting federal trial on charges of fraud and money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty.
AP

In October 2020, Fried allegedly asked the head of a political action committee if an anticipated $5 million contribution would result in her son “fac[ing] any potential legal or optics exposure from donating through the [Alameda] LLC?”

“He’s willing to take on some risk, but wants to understand what it is,” Fried is alleged to have written in the email that was cited in court papers.

In April 2021, Fried is alleged to have sent her son and Singh an email to discuss a $1 million donation to MTG’s operating expenses, according to the lawsuit.

“Since this is going to our 527 (a tax-exempt PAC), and hence is disclosed, I’m assuming that Nishad would be the better person to have his name on it,” Fried wrote in the email to her son and Singh — as alleged in the court filing.


Nishad Singh, the former head of engineering at FTX and Alameda Research, was "encouraged" to falsify disclosure records, according to a lawsuit.
Nishad Singh, the former head of engineering at FTX and Alameda Research, was “encouraged” to falsify disclosure records, according to a lawsuit.
LinkedIn

“We’d have a slight preference for that on our end, now that my connection to Sam is publicly known, because we don’t want to create the impression that funding MTG is a family affair, as opposed to a collective effort by many people…” the email read.

Bankman-Fried is alleged in court papers to have replied: “works for me on all fronts[.]”

Singh allegedly wrote “[s]ounds good, I’m happy to pledge the $1m for MTG operating, agreed on optpics [sic]. Mind sending wire instructions?”

In August of last year, Fried allegedly urged her son to “substitute someone else’s name” in a “non-disclosed form,” according to court filings.

“Awesome! Yup happy to split the $15m with him wherever it’s best,” Bankman-Fried allegedly responded to his mother, according to court papers.

Singh pleaded guilty in February to charges including conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and to defraud the Federal Election Commission.

Singh’s attorney declined comment.


Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency platform imploded after he allegedly used customer funds to cover risky bets made by his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency platform imploded after he allegedly used customer funds to cover risky bets made by his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
REUTERS

Earlier this month, Ryan Salame pleaded guilty to making tens of millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to politicians and engaging in a criminal conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transfer business.

The Post reached out to Salame.

FTX’s lawsuit also claims that the parents padded their own bank accounts, allegedly received a $10 million gift from their son using FTX funds as well as a $16.4 million beachfront home in the Bahamas.

They vowed to return the property after Bankman-Fried’s arrest.

The parents “exploited their access and influence within the FTX enterprise to enrich themselves, directly and indirectly, by millions of dollars, and knowingly at the expense of the debtors…and their creditors,” the court filing claimed.

The Post has sought comment from Fried, Bankman, and Bankman-Fried.



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