The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is demanding that politicians and political committees that received donations from disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried — or his employees — hand over the illicit funds to the U.S. Marshals.
[RELATED: Top FTX Executive Nishad Singh Gave Maine Democrats $100,000…]
The Maine Democratic Party, which received $100,000 from Nishad Singh, the 3rd ranking employee at FTX, has yet to say whether it will comply with the demand.
Two representatives of the Party did not respond to an inquiry from the Maine Wire.
The U.S. Attorney’s demand letter, first reported by Semafor, says those “donations represent the proceeds of Bankman-Fried’s crimes.”
The letter suggests the illicit funds could be clawed back by the government under civil asset forfeiture laws if they’re not turned over voluntarily.
As of December, the Maine Democrats had not developed any plans for the money, according to a report in the Bangor newspaper.
Maine Democratic Party Chairperson Bev Uhlenhake told the paper in December her party was in a “holding pattern” until the courts sorted out the matter.
“I need a lot more information,” she said. “What I will say is that we will navigate in the most ethical way possible.”
Now that the courts are issuing clear guidance to anyone who received the tainted cash, it remains to be seen how Uhlenhake will handle the money, which has reportedly already been spent.
To comply with the U.S. Attorney’s instructions, the Maine Democratic Party will need to raise $100,000, knowing that it will have to be turned over to the U.S. Marshal.
Bankman-Fried is thought to have given roughly $40 million to political candidates in the 2022 election cycle, including Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican.
Although most of his reported contributions went to Democratic politicians, several of his employees made major donations to Republican candidates.
Bankman-Fried has also said that he “donated dark” to Republicans in order to avoid public backlash.
Collins’ office told the WSJ last year she intended to make a donation to charity in the amount of Bankman-Fried’s contribution.
(Ironically, Semafor discloses that Bankman-Fried is also a major investor in Semafor…)