The Maine Democratic Party received a $100,000 donation from a leader at a bankrupt cryptocurrency company under federal investigation for potentially violating securities laws, with its embattled CEO giving a smaller amount to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.
Executives at the company, FTX, led by CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, have been massive political givers over the last two years. Bankman-Fried himself gave $37 million to Democratic candidates and causes during the 2022 cycle, according to OpenSecrets. He also gave to some Republican senators, including Collins.
The biggest Maine donation linked to the company is from Nishad Singh, FTX’s director of engineering, who made the $100,000 donation on Aug. 30. It was the largest donation to the party during this political cycle and the largest single donation to the Maine Democratic Party recorded by the Federal Election Commission in a database going back to 1979.
A party spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the donation and what they would do with it. Bankman-Fried’s contribution to Collins was previously reported by Politico, but her spokesperson did not answer questions on the donations late Tuesday.
Many of the 2022 campaigns and groups that benefited from the money have already spent it, while some have donated it to charity. That is because of concern that the funds linked to Bankman-Fried were ill-gotten. It is unusual for a young CEO to have so much in liquid assets and investors have never seen a full balance sheet for the company, Axios reported.
Before their rapid turn of fortunes, FTX were a $32 billion company heralded as the future of the growing crypto industry. Now, they owe up to 1 million people and organizations money after suddenly declaring bankruptcy last week.
Singh has made a number of donations to Democratic causes. This appears to be the only one in Maine. None of the other donations appear to have ties to the state, though money from some national PACs likely ended up in Maine.
Other FTX employees made donations to both Democratic and Republican groups, including several donations totaling $17,400 from Bankman-Fried to a campaign committee for Collins, a Republican in 2021, well after her massive 2020 reelection campaign.