Vice Chair Bev Uhlenhake said the Maine Democratic Party is watching as courts consider criminal and bankruptcy cases against FTX.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaves court in New York on Thursday following his extradition to the U.S. Credit: Yuki Iwamura / AP

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The Maine Democratic Party said it has made no decision on what it will do with a $100,000 donation from an executive at the bankrupt crypto firm FTX.

Key background: Political giving linked to the collapsed crypto firm came under heavy scrutiny even before CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested on federal charges earlier this month. He is alleged to have defrauded investors and violated campaign finance law. Others in the company were charged federally as well. 

Several politicians, including U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, have said they will donate contributions from Bankman-Fried to charity. He was one of the largest political givers in the past election cycle, and the money may have come from customer deposits.

Why it matters: The Maine Democratic Party got $100,000 in August from Nishad Singh, the former company’s director of engineering, which amounted to the largest donation on record to the party’s federal campaign account. Singh has not been charged, but he knew the company was misusing funds, according to The Wall Street Journal.

What they’re saying: The FTX situation is complicated for Democrats, because Singh’s money came in and was spent during a hot campaign in which both Gov. Janet Mills and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of the 2nd District were in reelection races.

A spokesperson said the party is “closely monitoring the FTX situation” and has not determined a course of action yet. Vice Chair Bev Uhlenhake, who is running for party chair in next month’s state committee election, said the party is in a “holding pattern” as courts consider the criminal and bankruptcy cases.

“I need a lot more information,” she said. “What I will say is that we will navigate in the most ethical way possible.”

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...