Democrat Megadonor Under Federal Investigation

( Sam Bankman-Fried, a prolific Democrat donor and former CEO of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, contributed to the campaigns of members of Congress who oversee the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC is one of the key bodies tasked with regulating the cryptocurrency industry and the target of Bankman-aggressive Fried’s lobbying efforts.

According to reports, FTX is under investigation by the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Bankman-Fried allegedly transferred $10 billion in client assets from his cryptocurrency exchange to his trading firm Alameda Research after a liquidity crisis at his exchange caused the company to file for bankruptcy.

Before the investigation, Bankman-Fried aggressively courted the CFTC and poured money into the campaign coffers of influential congressmen responsible for regulating the agency.

The CFTC is responsible for regulating several crypto market components, including digital assets that are commodities, as well as crypto exchanges and clearinghouses. The Senate and House Agriculture Committees monitor the agency, with the former charged with approving CFTC commissioners nominated by the President.

A list of Bankman-Fried’s contributions to both Democrats and Republicans can be seen here.

Investigative reports show that in addition to his campaign contributions to the legislators responsible for CFTC supervision, Bankman-Fried sought tighter ties with the agency.

According to Coindesk, Bankman-Fried fought for legislation in the Senate Agriculture Committee that would allow the CFTC broader regulatory authority over the cryptocurrency industry and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying the CFTC, SEC, and members of Congress on the issue.

The Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act, which would establish the CFTC jurisdiction over the spot digital commodities market, was introduced by Stabenow, Boozman, Booker, and North Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune, three of whom are recipients of funds from Bankman-Fried.

In addition to the payments, Bankman-Fried contributed $6 million to the House Majority PAC to help elect Democrats. He was also the second-largest individual donor to the 2020 presidential campaign of Vice President Joe Biden, contributing nearly $5 million.

Bankman-Fried’s mother, Barbara Fried, leads Mind the Gap, a Democrat-affiliated dark money organization. Nishad Singh, the head of engineering at FTX, gave $1 million to the charity.

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