A group of progressive Democrats led by 2018 US Senate candidate Lisa McCormick is calling on three New Jersey congressmen to give up campaign contributions that they accepted from Sam Bankman-Fried, the FTX crypto currency exchange founder who was arrested today in the Bahamas.
“Only months before the FTX crypto currency exchange crashed into reality, resulting in criminal charges against funny-money founder Sam Bankman-Fried and a multi-billion dollar bankruptcy, three New Jersey congressman greedily accepted campaign contributions from more than $70 million distributed by executives of the company,” said McCormick.
“While FTX was handing out cash, Josh Gottheimer collected $11,600, Cory Booker received $11,400, and Frank Pallone got a combined total of $7900, $2900 directly plus $5000 directed to his Shore PAC, according to records from the Federal Election Commission,” said McCormick, who posted a petition online asking residents to join her call for the politicians to divest the dirty money.
McCormick said, “Gottheimer, Booker and Pallone should atone for this poor judgment in two ways. They should divest themselves of the dirty money immediately, by turning it over to Democrats for Change, and they should sponsor legislation to ensure cryptocurrency is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Bahamian authorities arrested Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. government, and his office would move to unseal an indictment in the morning.
Bankman-Fried made $38,421,700 in federal campaign contributions, according to the FEC, while another top FTX executive, Ryan Salame, doled out $23,986,800.
Bankman-Fried primarily gave money to Democrats while Salame donated mainly to Republicans. Other individuals associated with the company gave candidates a total of $8,262,750, according to FEC records.
Investigators want to know whether FTX used customer funds to finance Bankman-Fried’s investment firm, Alameda Research, but the 30-year-old has said he made grave mistakes but has denied any malicious wrongdoing.