The Maine Democratic Party received $100,000 in campaign cash that may be the product of ill gotten gains from Sam Bankman-Fried’s now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
Nishad Singh, the Director of Engineering at FTX and a member of Bankman-Fried’s core inner circle, gave the Maine Democratic Party $100,000 on August 20, 2022 — $90,000 of which was transferred to the Maine Democratic State Committee, according to state and federal campaign finance records.
Executives at the failed cryptocurrency empire became prolific political donors at the same time the companies — FTX, FTX US, and Alameda Research — were co-mingling funds, misappropriating customer money, and misrepresenting the value of their assets to the public.
[RELATED: Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Collapse Touches Ukraine, the World Economic Forum, Silicon Valley and Both Sides of D.C….]
Bankman-Fried, the largest of FTX’s political spenders, gave more than $50 million to Democratic candidates, including President Joe Biden, in the last two political cycles. His partner in crime, Ryan Salame, rounded out the GOP side of political giving with $24 million to Republicans in the last cycle.
Presently, no one can say for sure where exactly all the money came from.
All of Bankman-Fried’s companies have now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and there is an ongoing jurisdictional contest between the U.S. government and the government of the Bahamas, where the businesses were based, over the disposition of the remaining assets.
Maine Democratic Party Executive Director Gaetan Davis and Finance Director Dashielle Marley did not respond to an email asking whether the Maine Democratic Party or the Maine Democratic State Committee would return the funds now that the money appears to have come from one of the largest fraudulent enterprises in American history.
[RELATED: Bankrupt FTX Gave $18.2M to Early COVID-19 Researchers Who Cast Doubt on Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine…]
Following the collapse of FTX, a bipartisan chorus of voices have called on American politicians and political committees to return the ill-gotten gains they received from FTX’s fraudulent practices.
The Editorial Board of the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, said the following about tainted cash sitting on the books of, among others, the Maine Democratic Party:
“The trouble isn’t merely that the sources of these generous gifts are now disgraced. It isn’t even just that the beneficiaries of these generous gifts will have a glaring conflict of interest when it comes to addressing the FTX scandal, though that’s true. The problem is also that it is unclear where the money came from. Mr. Bankman-Fried may have “earned” it from running FTX or Alameda Research, his trading firm to which FTX appears to have lent customer funds. It turns out these ventures appear not to have been separate and solvent entities, and now users are unable to withdraw their funds from FTX — while lawmakers have, or had, plenty in their pockets thanks to the same businesses. It’s not just the integrity of the legislators that’s in question; it’s the integrity of the cash itself.
A handful of members of Congress from both parties — seven out of close to 100 queried by Popular Information — have said they’re relinquishing the money. Many, many more have remained silent. Some have mulled sending the money to whence it came, but that risks contributing to FTX’s legal defense. Some, such as Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) intend to turn it over to whatever client reimbursement fund is set up during bankruptcy proceedings. That’s probably the cleanest answer to the question. But others are more poetic. A few legislators are sending to charity these donations from an entrepreneur who claimed to be devoted to a radical kind of altruism. The cause chosen by Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (D-Ill.)? “Financial literacy.”
If the Maine Democratic Party decides to return spoiled cash we’ll update this story.