The Poster Boy for Crypto Escapes Additional Charges, RFK Jr. Says it’s Because “Corruption Has Become Normalized”

By: Lauren | Published: Jan 05, 2024

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of popular cryptocurrency company FTX, was charged with several counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, and commodities fraud. 

And while he was found on all seven of those charges, the government of the United States just announced that they will be dropping the charges against Sam for campaign fraud. And the news is making some people angrier than others. 

The Sam Bankman-Fried Story

Sam Bankman-Fried has been in the headlines for years, and at first, it was for his success in crypto with his company FTX. 

Illustration of the FTX logo and mobile app advertisements are displayed on screens

Source: Leon Neal/Getty Images

However, when his company collapsed in November 2022 due to Sam’s illegal activities, he went from famous to infamous. 

Guilty on Seven Counts of Fraud

After being charged with seven different crimes, Sam was found guilty of conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering. 

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried departs Manhattan Federal Court after an arraignment hearing on March 30, 2023

Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

And in August, he was charged with an eighth crime, campaign finance fraud. Apparently, the former Crypto-King had spent $100 million of unlawful contributions to politicians in 2022. 

Some of Sam’s Political Campaign Donations

According to Time magazine, Sam was one of the largest contributors to Biden’s campaign; he gave a whopping $5.2 million to the soon-to-be president in 2020. 

President Joe Biden gestures to members of the press prior to his departure from the White House

Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images

But that wasn’t even close to all of it, Time also said that he gave up to $5,800 to several Congress members, such as Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman. Though filings show that Stabenow received a total of approximately $20,000 from Bankman-Fried’s personal account. 

Sam Bankman-Fried Gave More Than $70 Million in Donations

Sam spent more than $70 million in election campaigns, some say that it could have even been more than $80 million.

FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrives at Manhattan Federal Court for a court appearance on March 30, 2023

Source: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

This in itself is not illegal, but since they were given under pseudonyms from his clients’ money, the government had quite a few questions. 

Federal Prosecutors Are Letting This One Go

But on December 29, 2023, the Federal Prosecutors on the case announced that “The Government has concluded that the public interest in a prompt resolution of this matter outweighs the interest in holding a separate trial.”

Sen. Debbie Stabenow gavels to order a hearing about the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange company FTX with ranking member Sen. John Boozman

Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In other words, they are dropping those charges completely. Although Sam is still waiting for sentencing for his other seven guilty verdicts, he won’t have to worry about the campaign fraud. 


Robert F Kennedy Jr. Had a Big Response to the News

The entire world is talking about this newest development in his case, and now, they’re also talking about presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s response.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s post on X about Sam Backman-Fried’s dropped charges

Source: @RobertKennedyJr/X

On his X, formerly Twitter, profile, RFK posted the news with the caption “No one is even surprised. THAT is a bigger problem than the fraud itself. It shows how normalized corruption has become.”


Why Did Sam Get Off the Hook?

RFK’s response about corruption has sparked curiosity as to why the government let Sam off the hook after he had already been found guilty of seven similar crimes. 

Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. makes a campaign announcement at a press conference

Source: Jessica Kourkounia/Getty Images

The prosecutors said that it is because they hadn’t obtained the correct permissions from the Bahamian government where Bankman-Fried was extradited from. But not everyone believes that’s the whole truth. 


Corruption in the Justice System

Interestingly, several of the Congress people who Sam donated to during their campaigns were involved in the dismissal of his charges. 

Democratic US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to members of the press

Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images

And many, like RFK, feel as though the only reason he wasn’t charged was because these politicians did Sam a favor like he did them a favor. 


Stealing Money Isn’t Illegal if it’s Given to Politicians

Popular social media personality and political commentator Collin Rugg commented on the surprising (or not so surprising) turn of events as well. 

X post by Collin Rugg noting the U.S. government’s decision to drop charges against Sam Backman-Fried

Source: @CollinRugg/X

In an X post Rugg wrote, “Making bribes with stolen money is fine as long as that money is going to U.S. politicians.”


Sadly, Campaign Finance Fraud Isn’t New News

Former Federal Election Commission enforcement lawyer, Saurav Ghosh, explained in a recent interview that fraud is “something that is happening all the time in campaign finance.”

Jar of cash donations for Obama’s presidential campaign

Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Across local and national elections, the wealthy are supposedly donating to politicians under aliases, as well as with illegally obtained funds on a regular basis. 


Will Sam Backman-Fried Go to Jail Anyway?

On March 28, 2024, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan will hand down Sam Bankman-Fried’s sentence for his seven guilty verdicts. 

Sam Backman-Fried smiling at the camera

Source: Britannica

And even though his campaign finance fraud won’t be on the list, the once beloved Crypto-King will probably still spend several decades, if not a lifetime in prison.