Evidence shows Bankman-Fried and associates gave $230M to friends, family, politicians, PACs, and special interests


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An extensive list of donations made by FTX associates became public during the criminal trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on Oct. 17.

Bankman-Fried’s own donation list details more than $133 million in spending, primarily made up of $119 million in political donations.

The list includes a number of recognizable politicians or their campaigns. Republican senator and former presidential nominee Mitt Romney notably received $5,800 from Bankman-Fried, while Democratic senator Cory Booker received $5,700. Dozens of other politicians received comparable amounts from the FTX founder.

Bankman-Fried’s largest donations, however, went to political groups and political action committees, or PACs, which are subject to fewer restrictions and limits on donations than political candidates. These groups, which included such names as Protect Our Future, One Nation, House Majority PAC, Majority Forward, Future Now, Building a Stronger Future, and others, collectively received tens of millions of dollars.

Gifts to family and friends

Recorded donations also include transfers between family members. One of the list’s largest single transfers is a $10 million gift from Sam Bankman-Fried to his father, Joseph Bankman — a fact that surfaced in other reports around September.

Another entry shows that Sam Bankman-Fried sent $2 million to his brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried. Furthermore, Bankman-Fried donated $17.5 million to Guarding Against Pandemics (GAP), a group co-founded and formerly headed by Gabe Bankman-Fried.

Bankman-Fried additionally sent gifts to various individuals who, like Bankman-Fried himself, appear to be involved in the San Francisco-focused effective altruism community. Recipients include earth systems scientist Claire Zabel, Democratic politicians Elizabeth Edwards-Appell and Alex Zajic, computer science student Rocket Drew, and Chatham House research fellow David Lawrence.

The former FTX CEO also sent over $248,000 to a hotel company in Miami, Florida; a note indicates that the company hosted a mentorship retreat.

Other executives also handled donations

Other attached lists bring total donations among FTX executives to $230 million. One attached list indicates that FTX’s former engineering head, Nishad Singh, carried out $72 million in political and other donations. Another list shows that ex-Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison spent $19 million on gifts and other donations.

Notably, Singh and Ellison each contributed $40 million and $10 million to the AI firm Anthropic. Singh suggested in his recent testimony that FTX and Alameda donated $499 million to Anthropic overall, alongside billions of dollars spent on other celebrity endorsements, venture capital funds, and mining investments.

Yet another list titled “FTX US” describes $1.7 million in political donations, a sum that includes a $150,000 donation to the Super PAC of pro-crypto U.S. representative Patrick McHenry. Another list includes $4.9 million in other political donations.

The list of donations emerged as a piece of evidence as Nishad Singh testified about excessive spending during Bankman-Fried’s ongoing criminal case. Singh has pleaded guilty to campaign financing charges as part of a plea deal. Prosecutors intend to charge Bankman-Fried with campaign financing violations at a later date.

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