Prosecutors at the Justice Department will drop one of the 13 counts against Sam Bankman-Fried, after his lawyers contested the inclusion of five additional charges filed after his extradition from The Bahamas.
“In keeping with its treaty obligations to The Bahamas, the government does not intend to proceed to trial on the campaign contributions count,” wrote US Attorney Damian Williams, in a letter addressed to Judge Lewis Kaplan on Wednesday.
In its original indictment at the end of 2022, the DOJ charged Bankman-Fried with eight counts, but added five additional charges in a superseding indictment in March.
Lawyers for the former FTX CEO argued that the additional charges should be dismissed on the grounds that they violated the extradition treaty with the Bahamas, while prosecutors claimed that the campaign finance charge was an “inadvertent omission” from the original indictment, leaving it up to the Bahamas government to waive the right to object to the charges.
However, the Bahamas has since informed the government that it did not intend to extradite Bankman-Fried on the campaign finance charge, Williams disclosed in the letter.
According to the indictment, Bankman-Fried used two FTX executives as straw donors to evade contribution limits on individual donations to political candidates. In a November interview, Bankman-Fried revealed that he made the same amount of donations to Democrats and Republicans, saying he “made all the Republican ones dark.”