The mother of former cryptocurrency king Sam Bankman-Fried is facing serious allegations in a new lawsuit filed by crypto exchange FTX. The lawsuit accuses Barbara Fried of acting as a key advisor to her son and his allies for political campaign contributions, which later resulted in criminal charges. In this article, we will dissect the details of the lawsuit and explore the accusations made against Fried and her alleged involvement in her son’s political finance strategy.
The lawsuit claims that Barbara Fried played a significant role as a “point person” in her son’s political contribution strategy. It suggests that Fried urged Bankman-Fried and his associates to violate federal campaign finance disclosure rules by engaging in straw donations, thereby concealing the true source of the contributions. These allegations are serious, as they imply a deliberate attempt to evade transparency and accountability in political campaign financing.
Attorneys representing Fried and her husband, Sam Bankman, vehemently deny the claims made by FTX in the lawsuit. According to them, the allegations are completely false. It remains to be seen how this legal battle will unfold and whether any evidence will be presented to support or refute the accusations.
FTX’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, seeks to recover millions of dollars that the exchange claims were fraudulently transferred to Fried and Bankman. The lawsuit alleges that Bankman-Fried, while serving as FTX’s CEO, misappropriated customer funds to make substantial political contributions amounting to tens of millions of dollars. The lawsuit further accuses Bankman-Fried of making donations in other people’s names, suggesting a deliberate attempt to manipulate the transparency and legality of the contributions.
The Indictment and Trial
Bankman-Fried is currently facing criminal charges, including the misappropriation of customer funds for political contributions. A superseding indictment has been issued, accusing him of using these funds to make over $100 million in campaign contributions for the upcoming midterm elections. Bankman-Fried has entered a plea of not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial next month in federal court in Manhattan. It is worth noting that Fried herself is not named as a defendant in any of the criminal indictments against her son.
The Role of Barbara Fried
Although not directly charged, FTX’s civil complaint alleges that Fried had a significant influence over her son’s political campaign donation strategy. The complaint describes her as a critical influencer and indicates that Bankman-Fried sought her direction regarding political contributions, including recipients, amounts, and disclosure requirements. Fried’s alleged involvement raises concerns about potential conflicts of interest and unethical practices within the political donation landscape.
Mind the Gap
FTX’s lawsuit claims that Fried used her influence to help finance her own political operation, a political action committee called Mind the Gap (MTG), and its affiliated causes. Fried’s involvement with MTG reportedly included running the PAC until her resignation last year following her son’s arrest. The lawsuit alleges that the PAC relied on Bankman-Fried and others close to him for funding, with Fried requesting her son and an FTX employee, Nishad Singh, to contribute to MTG under Singh’s name instead of Bankman-Fried’s. These allegations, if proven true, would raise serious questions about the integrity of political action committees and their funding sources.
The lawsuit includes an email exchange in which Fried suggests that a $1 million donation be made in Singh’s name for MTG. The suit quotes Fried’s email, in which she mentions the need to avoid creating the impression that funding MTG is a family affair. Bankman-Fried responds to the email, expressing agreement with the plan. Singh then replies, offering to send the wire transfer for MTG. These communications suggest a coordinated effort to manipulate the transparency and legality of political contributions made through MTG.
The Alleged Commitments
According to FTX’s complaint, Fried committed Bankman-Fried and Singh to backstop MTG-supported programs to ensure that the PAC met its funding goals. The suit claims that Fried repeatedly called upon these guarantees and relied on Bankman-Fried and Singh, as well as the FTX Group, for funding the PAC and its affiliated causes. These allegations further emphasize the alleged collaboration between Fried and her son to support political campaigns through deceptive financial maneuvers.
The lawsuit filed by FTX against Barbara Fried paints a disturbing picture of alleged impropriety and dishonesty in the realm of political campaign financing. The accusations against Fried suggest a deliberate attempt to manipulate campaign contribution disclosure rules and misrepresent the true sources of funding. As the legal proceedings unfold, it will be essential to determine the veracity of these claims and to hold accountable those responsible for any wrongdoing. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for the transparency and integrity of the political donation process.