New emails reveal Bankman-Fried family’s role in FTX finances, report

The mother, father, and younger brother of disgraced former FTX chief Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly helped advise on and manage the firm’s finances, according to emails seen by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The previously undisclosed emails show Bankman-Fried’s father, Alan Joseph Bankman, introducing then-FTX exec Ryan Salame to the firm’s Fenwick & West tax lawyers in September 2022. He suggested they discuss the tens of millions of dollars Salame had previously withdrawn from Alameda Research.

His younger brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, was also revealed to have created a ‘who’s-who’ of Democrat politicians and helped direct contributions from either Sam’s personal fortune or FTX. Salame reportedly helped with the wire transfers. 

Salame was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison for conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitter.

The emails also detail how Gabriel requested a $5 million contribution to an advocacy group he created in 2020 called Guarding Against Pandemics. Gabriel’s lawyer said, “Gabe’s political fundraising supported like-minded policymakers who saw pandemic prevention as among the most critical issues facing humanity.” 

Read more: FTX estate takes another victim 19 months after bankruptcy

Bankman-Fried’s mother, Barbara Helen Fried, helped direct FTX’s spending. She asked her son for $92,000 in August 2021 to “close the gaps on two projects we have committed to fund as part of our new research initiative.” Her lawyer said, “There was nothing in any way inappropriate about her providing such advice.”

Asked to review the email from Alan Bankman, the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission told the WSJ, “If Bankman knew about the contributions in the name of another while they were going on, he could be held directly liable as an accomplice.”

Bankman’s spokesperson, however, claims, “Mr. Bankman had no knowledge of any alleged campaign finance violations.” Someone familiar with Fenwick told the WSJ they advised Salame on taxes and not campaign finance laws. 

The emails also reveal that FTX’s former director of engineering Nishad Singh, who helped make the unlawful donations, was directed by Gabriel to also make public gifts to save money on taxes.

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