Texas congressman says politicians who received 'stolen money' from FTX need to return it

'This is stolen money that was then given to politicians,' Rep. Lance Gooden said

Updated: December 15, 2022 - 2:08pm

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    GOP Rep. Lance Gooden is urging politicians who received "stolen money" from FTX to return the campaign contributions to help those defrauded in the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange.

    "This is stolen money that was then given to politicians," the Texas lawmaker said Wednesday on the John Solomon Reports podcast. "It's like if you get a watch on Christmas morning, and you find out the next day that that watch was stolen, and it actually belong to your neighbor. You give that watch to the neighbor, and you don't keep it."

    FTX declared bankruptcy last month, after reports the exchange was in financial trouble, which resulted in investors rushing to take out their money and the collapse.

    On Monday evening, FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in Bahamas, where he lives, at the request of the U.S. government.

    On Tuesday, federal prosecutors charged the 30-year-old with eight criminal violations – from wire fraud to money laundering to conspiracy to commit fraud, according to the Associated Press

    He reportedly defrauded investors out of as much as $1.8 billion. 

    Bankman-Fried illegally diverted investors' money to cover expenses, debts and risky trades at the crypto hedge fund he started in 2017, Alameda Research, prosecutors said in a 13-page indictment obtained by the Associated Press. 

    "We've got politicians that have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases and they are not making proactive efforts to return the money," Gooden also said.

    "If you're a politician that has taken money from him, you should have already been in touch with the bankruptcy court and saying, 'Hey guys. Let me know where to send the check. Because this is stolen money. It wasn't his and it shouldn't be mine."