Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, speaking at the Binance Blockchain Week, Singapore, 19 January, 2019. Binance
Democratic groups are rushing to return political donations made by former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), who earlier this week was charged with eight counts of financial crimes, the Washington Post reported on 16 December.
According to the publication, three major Democratic committees — namely the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) — have vowed to return a large portion of the political donations they received from SBF. The biggest pledge comes from the DNC, which claims to have received $815,000 from SBF since 2020. A spokesperson fro the organization said in a statement:
“Given the allegations around potential campaign finance violations by Bankman-Fried, we are setting aside funds in order to return the $815,000 in contributions since 2020. We will return as soon as we receive proper direction in the legal proceedings.”
The DSCC and DCCC have also set aside $103,000 and $250,000 respectively, and were just waiting on directions from FTX’s legal proceedings on how to return the funds. Another organization that supports Democrats — the Senate Majority political action committee (PAC) — that received $1 million in donations from SBF, claimed it had set aside money from SBF and one of his associates and was waiting on directions on how to return them.
Sam Bankman-Fried is known to be a prolific political donor since 2020, and according to federal records has donated around $40 million to campaign committees and other groups this political cycle alone. While the majority of his donations were used to support the Democratic Party, a portion also went to Republicans through dark-money groups that do not disclose their donors.
The individual was arrested in the Bahamas at the request of the U.S. government on Monday, and was later charged with eight counts of financial crimes by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).