Before a former cryptocurrency billionaire became a pauper, he donated $27 million to a group that financed 2022 midterm Democratic candidates.
Crypto exchange FTX, which recently filed for bankruptcy, made founder Sam Bankman-Fried a billionaire briefly. The company had been one of the world’s largest crypto marketplaces until the beginning of last week, according to a Fox Business report. Crypto investors around the world were shaken by news the company announced it would need a new huge cash investment to avoid bankruptcy.
Fox Business further reported:
Overall, in 2021 and 2022, Bankman-Fried donated approximately $38 million to various candidates and PACs, mainly giving his cash to Democratic candidates and left-wing groups, according to Federal Election Commission filings (FEC). The majority of his political givings, though, went to the Protect Our Future PAC, a group founded in January that is dedicated to boosting candidates committed to preventing future pandemics.
“Our country’s leaders failed to prepare for a pandemic experts warned for years was possible, and the result was more than a million preventable American deaths, trillions of dollars in economic damage, school closures, loss of freedoms, and untold suffering,” the PAC states on its website.
“Our candidates are committed to safeguarding our nation from future global pandemics, so this is the last time in our lifetime, and our children’s lifetimes, that we will face the devastation that has gripped communities across the U.S. since 2020,” it continued.
Bankman-Fried wired an initial $9 million in February to the PAC shortly after it was created, FEC records showed. He then made three additional donations worth $18 million between March and June, increasing his total contribution to Protect Our Future PAC to $27 million.
Bankman-Fried’s contributions accounted for roughly 95% of the roughly $28.5 million raised by the PAC. The only other major contributor to the PAC was Nishad Singh — Bankman-Fried’s business partner and top FTX executive — who gave $1 million to the group the same day Bankman-Fried wired his initial contribution in February.
While Protect Our Future PAC appears to be a bipartisan group based on its website, it exclusively supported Democratic campaigns in the run-up to the election.
The group supported Carrick Flynn, who ran to represent Oregon’s 6th Congressional District, far more than any other candidate, giving about $10.5 million to his campaign. However, Flynn was defeated by fellow Democrat Andrea Salinas in the state’s May primary. Salinas beat her Republican challenger last week.
The PAC also gave $1.1 million to Adam Hollier of Michigan and Josh Lafazan of New York, two other Democratic candidates that failed to make it out of their respective primaries.
In addition, Protect Our Future PAC pushed more than $1 million to Reps. Lucy McBath of Georgia and Shontel Brown of Ohio as well as Reps.-elect Jasmine Crockett of Texas, Valerie Foushee of North Carolina and Robert Garcia of California.
Other recipients of the PAC’s donations included Rep. Jesus Garcia, D-Ill., and Reps.-elect Morgan McGarvey of Kentucky, Maxwell Frost of Florida, Sydney Kamlager of California, Jonathan Jackson of Illinois, Nikki Budzinski of Illinois, Jared Moskowitz of Florida, Rob Menendez Jr. of New Jersey. The candidates received between $200,000 and $972,000 from the PAC.
Last week, Bankman-Fried made headlines after a liquidity crisis forced FTX to file for bankruptcy. Bankman-Fried’s estimated net worth subsequently plummeted from $15.6 billion to no material wealth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“I’m sorry. That’s the biggest thing,” Bankman-Fried tweeted Thursday. “I f—ed up, and should have done better.”
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