Accused crypto crook Sam Bankman-Fried and his FTX associates pumped nearly $95,000 in donations to at least 11 members of the House Financial Services Committee ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, federal records show.
The string of individual campaign donations has raised eyebrows given the 11 lawmakers serve on the committee currently probing last month’s collapse of the FTX crypto exchange.
The majority of contributions were made to Democrats — with New York Rep. Ritchie Torres receiving a total of $35,000 from various FTX-linked donors, according to The Post’s analysis of Federal Election Commission campaign data.
The House Financial Services Committee – which has 53 members total – was set to grill Bankman-Fried at a Tuesday congressional hearing. Their plans were derailed when the shaggy-haired former billionaire was arrested in the Bahamas hours earlier and slapped with a slew of fraud charges.
While Torres has already vowed to donate his FTX-tied campaign coffers to charity, at least one member — Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) — was quick to say he wouldn’t follow suit. Many others, meanwhile, have remained mum.
Here’s a breakdown of the 11 committee members who accepted campaign donations from Bankman-Fried and his associates:
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY)
Bankman-Fried personally donated $2,900 directly to the New York Democrat’s campaign, according to the FEC data.
The FTX founder’s brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, separately contributed a total of $32,400 to Torres’ campaign and victory fund.
Torres addressed the campaign donation earlier this week, telling CoinDesk it was “unsolicited” and that he was donating the amount.
“My ties to him are minimal,” Torres insisted, adding that Bankman-Fried was a “pathological liar.”
In a statement to The Post, Sophie Pollock, Torres’ communications director, confirmed that the funds were donated to “a local charity.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
The New Jersey congressman received $5,800 in personal donations from Bankman-Fried, records show.
He also received two separate donations — $2,900 each — from FTX executive Mark Wetjen, who previously worked as commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
A spokesperson from Rep. Gottheimer’s office said he will donate the funds to charity.
Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA)
Auchincloss, who is vice chair of the committee, was the recipient of a $5,800 personal donation from Bankman-Fried. He also received $5,800 from Wetjen.
The Massachusetts Rep. revealed this week he has no plans to return the donations — because the funds were given to other Democrats in more competitive midterm races.
“I’m not going to send money to a guy in a Bahaman jail, that’s for sure. That money is out the door, helping to elect Democrats,” he told Boston radio station WBUR.
Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García (D-IL)
Bankman-Fried pumped $2,900 into the Illinois Democrat’s re-election campaign.
García’s spokesperson revealed last month that his campaign had already donated the FTX-linked cash to the Northwest Center in Chicago, which focuses on financial literacy.
García’s office did not respond to a request for a comment.
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH)
The 72-year-old Democrat was given a $2,900 donation from Bankman-Fried, FEC data shows.
Beatty’s office did not respond to a request for a comment.
Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA)
The disgraced FTX founder made two separate donations to the Iowa Democrat’s election campaign.
Axne received $2,900 for the Cindy Axne for Congress and a separate $5,000 donation for her AXNE PAC, according to campaign finance records.
Axne’s office did not respond to a request for a comment.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
FTX executive Ryan Salame made a $5,800 donation to Zeldin’s campaign ahead of the midterms, records show.
Zeldin’s office did not respond to The Post’s request for a comment.
Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL)
Bankman-Friend’s brother, Gabriel, made two separate donations towards Casten’s campaign — totaling $1,000, according to FEC data.
When reached by Thursday, Casten’s DC office had “no comment at this time.”
Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN)
The Minnesota Republican received a handful of donations from at least two FTX executives ahead of the midterms.
His campaign was given a total of $8,700 from Salame and another $2,900 from FTX’s Zach Dexter.
Emmer’s office did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.
Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC)
The North Carolina GOP Representative was the recipient of a $2,900 donation made by Salame, records show.
Budd’s office could not be reached for a comment. An outgoing committee member, he is set to succeed longtime Republican Senator Richard Burr in office on Jan. 3.
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)
A $2,800 donation was made to the Connecticut representative’s campaign by FTX executive Danielle Barrett.
“The contribution we received … was unsolicited and is being donated,” Himes’ campaign manager Francesca Capodilupo said Thursday.
A waiting game
One congressional office that had received a donation from Bankman-Fried, and did not want to be identified, told The Post it was waiting to offload the funds until it was determined where the money legally belonged. It had previously been advised against donating the money to charity in case it was later reclaimed by victims.
Other questionable contributions
Members of the House Financial Services Committee are also not the only politicians with FTX funds in their coffers.
FEC records show that Bankman-Fried alone funneled thousands of dollars to various PACs, as well as campaigns for Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Kim Schrier (D-WA), and Angie Craig (D-MA), among others.
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