TechDigits

Tech news
Monday, May 20, 2024

US political world seeks distance from disgraced donor Bankman-Fried

US political world seeks distance from disgraced donor Bankman-Fried

Now he is in risk to end up his life like Jeffery Epstein: After years of benefitting from the enormous contributions of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried — accused of massive financial fraud — America’s political elite are now skittering away, eager to put distance between themselves and the disgraced cryptocurrency darling. The 30-year-old tycoon — currently detained in the Bahamas awaiting US extradition proceedings — had in recent years become one of the largest public donors to the Democratic Party, and claimed to have privately donated an equal amount to the Republican camp too.
Recipients reach as far into the US political world as President Joe Biden, whose 2020 campaign accepted more than $5 million in donations from Bankman-Fried.

Asked about the situation Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre deflected.

“I’m limited on what I can say,” she said, in reference to a law that prohibits her from discussing political matters in her official capacity.

The former head of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange platform was charged in the United States Wednesday with money laundering, violating campaign finance laws and wire fraud.

He is accused of making risky investments with clients’ money and fraudulently influencing the political sphere with his offerings.

“Samuel Bankman-Fried and his co-conspirators made millions of dollars in political contributions funded by (his other company) Alameda Research to federal political candidates and committees in advance of the 2022 election,” New York prosecutor Damian Williams said in a statement, referencing a practice which is allowed in the United States.

But he made those contributions in a way that was designed “to evade contribution limits and reporting requirements,” the statement added.

According to the prosecutor, Bankman-Fried made these donations in such a way that they would appear to be coming from wealthy associates, instead of him directly.

“All of this dirty money was used in service of Bankman-Fried’s desire to buy bipartisan influence and impact the direction of public policy in Washington,” Williams said during a press conference.

A search for Bankman-Fried on the US Federal Election Commission’s website shows 213 donations since 2020, including a September 2020 contribution for $5 million to a pro-Biden political group, and another for $50,000 in October of that year to the “Biden Victory Fund.”

The vast majority of those publicly declared donations were allocated to Democratic groups or candidates.

But Bankman-Fried, who made several media appearances and statements over the last several months as FTX took on water, insisted during a November interview with cryptocurrency expert Tiffany Fong that he had “donated about the same amount to both parties.”

“All my Republican donations were dark,” he said, but “not for regulatory reasons.”

Reporters “freak” out over donations to Republicans, he said.

“They’re all super liberal, and I didn’t want to have that fight.”

For some of those political beneficiaries, the bill on the price for those donations has come due: The money donated by Bankman-Fried, though legal, now feels toxic.

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York told the New York Post that she has given the money she received from Bankman-Fried to an organization working with marginalized communities.

The newspaper reported similar decisions by five other lawmakers, including four Democrats and one Republican.

But congressman Brad Sherman, a House Democrat opposed to cryptocurrency, recently told NBC that “the right answer” is giving the donations back to the FTX customers and investors through a bankruptcy trustee fund, “because it was never Bankman’s money.”

The nonprofit organization OpenSecrets, which works to demystify campaign finance, has calculated that Bankman-Fried ranked number six in top donors of the nearly $39.2 million in declared donations made during November’s midterm elections.

He becomes the number two donor when looking only at contributions made to Democrats, behind billionaire George Soros, who, via various avenues, gave more than $128 million to the party during the midterms.

The rules for US campaign finance — a complex scene which involves the exchange of billions of dollars each election cycle — depend on whether the money is given directly to candidates or raised through political action committees.

These so-called PACs — and super PACs, which are political entities that can accept unlimited contributions but can not spend directly on a candidate’s activities — play an important, if sometimes underground, role in US campaigns.

Investors, wealthy patrons, economic special interest groups and organizations representing different societal concerns donate to the PACs and super PACs in efforts to influence races for local office, Congress and the White House.

The political issue likely most top of mind for SBF, as he has come to be known? The still-nascent topic of regulations for the high-risk cryptocurrency market.
Newsletter

Related Articles

TechDigits
0:00
0:00
Close
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The future of sports
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
UK Crypto and Stablecoin Regulations Become Law as Royal Assent is Granted
A Delaware city wants to let businesses vote in its elections
Alef Aeronautics Achieves Historic Milestone with Flight Certification for World's First Flying Car
Google Blocked Access to Canadian News in Response to New Legislation
French Politicians Advocate for Pan-European Regulation on Social Media Influencers
Melinda French Gates Advocates for Increased Female Representation in AI to Prevent Bias
Snapchat+ gains 4 million paying subscribers in its first year
Apple Makes History as the First Public Company Valued at $3 Trillion
Elon Musk Implements Twitter Limits to Tackle Data Scraping, but Faces Criticism for Technical Misunderstanding
EU and UK's Slow Electric Vehicle Adoption Raises Questions About the Transition to Green Mobility
Top Companies Express Concerns Over Europe's Proposed AI Law, Citing Competitiveness and Investment Risks
Meta Unveils Insights on AI Usage in Facebook and Instagram, Amid Growing Calls for Transparency
Crypto Scams Against Seniors Soar by 78% in 2022, Experts Urge Vigilance
The End of an Era: National Geographic Dismisses Last of Its Staff Writers
Shield Your Wallet: The Perils of Wireless Credit Card Theft
Harvard Scientist Who Studies Honesty Accused Of Data Fraud, Put On Leave
Putting an End to the Subscription Snare: The Battle Against Unwitting Commitments
The Legal Perils of AI: Lawyer Faces Sanctions for Relying on Fictional Cases Generated by Chatbot
ChatGPT’s "Grandma Exploit": Ingenious Hack Exposes Loophole in AI, Generates Free Software Codes
The Disney Downturn: A Near Billion-Dollar Box Office Blow for the House of Mouse
A Digital Showdown: Canada Challenges Tech Giants with The Online News Act, Meta Strikes Back
Distress in the Depths: Submersible and Passengers Missing in Titanic Wreckage Expedition
Mark Zuckerberg stealing another idea: Twitter
European Union's AI Regulations Risk Self-Sabotage, Cautions smart and brave Venture Capitalist Joe Lonsdale
Nvidia GPUs are so hard to get that rich venture capitalists are buying them for the startups they invest in
Chinese car exports surge
Reddit Blackout: Thousands of Communities Protest "Ludicrous" Pricing Changes
Nvidia Joins Tech Giants as First Chipmaker to Reach $1 Trillion Valuation
AI ‘extinction’ should be same priority as nuclear war – experts
×