Gillibrand dumps Biden megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried after FTX debacle

WASHINGTON — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest politician to announce she will make campaign contributions from disgraced former cryptocurrency “billionaire” Sam Bankman-Fried – who poured millions into President Biden’s election before his company FTX last Week with up to 2 billion dollars bankrupt customer money went missing.

The New York Democrat distanced herself from Bankman-Fried and followed similar moves by at least four other congressional Democrats and one Republican — as the collapse of FTX mirrors the demise of Bernie Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme, whose victims have ranged from a teachers’ pension fund to elite venture capitalists and institutional bankers.

Gillibrand spokesman Evan Lukaske told The Post, “Senator Gillibrand is donating the funds to Ariva, Inc., a Bronx-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing individual prosperity and economic development in low- to middle-income communities .”

On June 20, Bankman-Fried donated the maximum allowable amount to Gillbrand — a total of $5,800 in two tranches, according to Federal Election Commission records — and an additional $10,800 to the Gillibrand Victory Fund PAC the same day.

Bankman-Fried, 30, and his younger brother Gabriel gave generously to members of both political parties, despite the disproportionate targeting of Democrats.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she will donate the contribution her campaign received from disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she will donate the contribution her campaign received from disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
Stephen Yang

In the 2020 election, Bankman-Fried spent $10 million supporting Biden’s campaign. When asked if Biden wanted those funds returned, the White House referred The Post to the Democratic National Committee, which did not respond.

Bankman-Fried was the second-biggest donor to Congressional Democrats in last week’s midterm elections, with at least $39.2 million – second only to pro-democracy billionaire George Soros.

The former FTX chief, who is now under multiple federal investigations, has rubbed hands in Washington trying to shape cryptocurrency regulation, which skeptics see as risky due to value volatility and the schemes of sophisticated digital hucksters and thieves.

Funds donated to Gillibrand will be donated to Bronx-based non-profit organization Ariva, Inc.
Funds donated to Gillibrand will be donated to Bronx-based non-profit organization Ariva, Inc.
Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It’s unclear if Gillibrand ever met with Bankman-Fried or his representatives.

The would-be billionaire has visited DC multiple times this year and was even welcomed to at least two meetings in the West Wing by one of Biden’s oldest employees, Steve Ricchetti, according to visitor logs. It’s unclear who else he may have met during those visits on April 22 and May 11 – as guests are often introduced to others when they are actually at the White House.

So far, Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Ill.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D- Ill.) have undertaken to free their election campaign funds from any money that may have been unlawfully obtained.

Bankman-Friend Spent $10M on Biden's 2020 Presidential Campaign
Bankman-Friend Spent $10M on Biden’s 2020 Presidential Campaign
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Ruppersberger will donate a $500 contribution that Gabriel Bankman-Fried made to the University of Maryland Medical System Foundation last year, his spokesman told The Post.

Carbajal will donate the $5,800 he received from Sam Bankman-Fried this year — $2,900 for his primary campaign and $2,900 for the general election — “to a local charity,” spokesman Ian told Mariani The Post.

Garcia donated $2,900, which he received from Sam Bankman-Fried, to the Northwest Center financial literacy advocacy group, Politico reported.

Hern (R-Okla.) donated $5,000, which he received from FTX executive Ryan Salame, to a charity called Food on the Move, the Block reported.

The scale of Bankman-Fried’s funding of US politics and the influence it exerted was overwhelming. His mother, Stanford law professor Barbara Fried, raised an additional $140 million through her pro-democracy Mind The Gap PAC, and Gabriel Bankman-Fried ran the nonprofit Guarding Against Pandemics.

Most members of Congress have not responded to inquiries from The Post.

The following congressmen and winning candidates have been contacted by The Post regarding their plans for Sam and Gabriel Bankman-Fried funds:

SENATE:

Democratic Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Gary Peters of Michigan, Jon Tester of Montana, Alex Padilla of California, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Joe Manchin from West Virginia, Cory Booker from New Jersey, Patty Murray from Washington and Senator-elect Peter Welch from Vermont.

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John Hoeven of North Dakota, John Boozman of Arkansas, Susan Collins of Maine, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency firm FTX collapsed last week, leaving customers $2 billion short of funds.
Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency firm FTX collapsed last week, leaving customers $2 billion short of funds.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

A HOUSE:

Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Lou Correa (D-Calif.), Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Josh Harder (D-Calif.), Mike Levin (D-California ), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Jennifer Wexton (D -Va.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Elaine Luria (D-Va.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Annie Kuster (D-NH), Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Suzann DelBene (D-Wash.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Ami Bera (D-Calif. ), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Shontel Brown (D-Ohio), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), Ruben Gallego (D- Ariz.), Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), Nanette Barragan (D-Calif.), Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Sean Casten (D-Ill.).

Representatives-elect Nikki Budzinski (D-Ill.), Brittany Pettersen (D-Colo.), Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), Morgan McGarvey (D-Ky.), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Maxwell Frost ( D-Fla.), Chuck Edwards (R-NC), Greg Casar (D-Texas), Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Becca Balint (D-Vt.).

https://nypost.com/2022/11/16/gillibrand-to-dump-biden-megadonor-sam-bankman-fried-after-ftx-debacle/ Gillibrand dumps Biden megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried after FTX debacle

JACLYN DIAZ

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