Former congressional candidate Michelle Bond and her boyfriend, former FTX executive Ryan Salame, are under investigation by Federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
According to a new Wall Street Journal report, the couple is being investigated for potential campaign finance law violations.
The report states that an investigation is underway to determine if the couple violated federal restrictions on contributions to Bond’s 2022 campaign for the Republican primary in New York’s 1st congressional district. The investigators are scrutinizing the funds Salame gave to Bond and the loans she provided for her campaign.
The report notes that this investigation is separate from the legal proceedings involving FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). SBF was charged in December for allegedly stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial in October.
Salame, although not charged in the FTX case at time of writing, was identified by The Wall Street Journal as a co-conspirator mentioned in SBF’s indictment documents. It has been alleged that he was involved in a separate campaign finance scheme unrelated to Bond.
As per the prosecutors, Salame made donations to Republican causes and candidates using FTX customer money at the direction of SBF.
The investigation into Bond and Salame began in April of this year, according to the report.
As per the WSJ, Bond’s three-month congressional campaign was apparently mostly funded by Salame, his crypto connections, and Bond’s own finances. She managed to gather around $660,000 in total, out of which approximately $54,000 was contributed by Salame. Bond also invested $145,309 of her own money into the campaign and lent it an additional $880,000.
According to Sterling Marchand, a campaign-finance lawyer uninvolved in the matter,
“While a candidate can use their personal funds to support their own campaign, without limit, it is against the law for candidates to go around campaign finance contribution limits by accepting money from friends and relatives to do so.”Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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