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Federal prosecutors are looking into the finances of Ryan Salame, a former FTX executive, and Michelle Bond, a former congressional candidate. Their investigation focuses on a potential violation of federal campaign finance laws during Bond’s 2022 campaign for the GOP primary in New York’s 1st Congressional District, The Wall Street Journal reported July 11.
In this investigation, authorities are investigating whether Salame and Bond illegally circumvented federal contribution limits on Bond’s campaign, specifically the money Salame gave to Bond and the loans she made to his campaign.
Salame’s name also surfaced in the context of the case against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who was charged with alleged theft of funds from FTX clients, campaign finance fraud and other charges, but Salame has not been charged with anything related to the FTX Crash.
While representatives for Bond and Salame declined to comment, the investigation began to gather momentum as early as April, when the investigation led to searches of their Maryland residence and the seizure of their phones. laptops.
A former CEO of the Association for Digital Asset Markets and a consultant for FTX, Bond was a late entrant in the 2022 GOP primary race. Despite strong Republican endorsements, Bond’s campaign fell through.
Yet it was his campaign funding that caught the eye, with FEC filings showing nearly $660,000 in contributions, including large sums from Salame and his own funds:
“She raised a total of nearly $660,000 in contributions, including over $54,000 from Salame and employees of FTX and Bankman-Fried’s crypto hedge fund. Bond contributed $145,309 to his own campaign and loaned him nearly $880,000, records show.
The 2022 election rules allow a person to give a maximum of $2,900 for a candidate’s primary and general campaigns, respectively, meaning someone can “contribute up to $5,800 to a federal candidate.” Meanwhile, candidates can contribute unlimited amounts of their own money to their own campaigns.
Bond’s ongoing divorce from Daniel Bond raised further questions, as the WSJ alleged that “Bond and Salame have been dating for over a year.” Salame’s deposits in Bond’s checking account are under scrutiny, seeking to determine whether they were a covert way to support Bond’s campaign because:
“In May, a judge overseeing the divorce denied a request by Bond’s husband to question him about possible campaign finance violations during a child custody hearing, according to case records. “