FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that filed for bankruptcy on Friday and is headed by Democratic Party megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried, is under investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The Daily Caller reports that Bankman-Fried funded the campaigns of congressional members charged with overseeing the regulatory agency — the CFTC — that regulates the cryptocurrency industry.
"Bankman-Fried's FTX is currently under investigation by the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)," The Daily Caller says, after he "allegedly moved $10 billion in client assets from his crypto exchange to his trading firm Alameda Research, and a liquidity crisis at his exchange which prompted the company to file for bankruptcy." As Reuters reports, roughly $1 billion to $2 billion vanished from FTX.
But before the CFTC's probe into Bankman-Fried, the former head of FTX aggressively lobbied the agency — and funded several key lawmakers overseeing it, pouring cash into their campaign coffers.
They include lawmakers from the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, the agency that oversees the CFTC. Lawmakers on the receiving end of Bankman-Fried's contributions include the committee's chairwoman, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; the committee's ranking member, Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark.; and the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade, Sen. John Hoeven, R-Mont.
In addition to lobbying regulators of his own industry, Bankman-Fried was once one of the Democratic Party's preeminent donors. As Marketwatch reports, Bankman-Fried "contributed more than $5 million to Joe Biden and groups supporting him during his 2020 presidential campaign. He said he was motivated by Biden's 'generic stability and decision-making process.'"
And as OpenSecrets points out, he gave Democrats nearly $37 million in the 2021-2022 election cycle, surpassed only by George Soros' $128 million.
In May, the 30-year-old, who was a billionaire at the time, said he expected to contribute "north of $100 million" to Democrats in the 2024 presidential election, but pledged a "soft ceiling" of $1 billion if former President Donald Trump ran again.
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