Here are 11 House panel members probing FTX’s collapse who also got donations from the fraudster

Prior to being taken into custody in the Bahamas, alleged FTX crypto fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried was scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee chaired by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

An appearance that was fraught with conflicts of interest, given that Bankman-Fried and his FTX associates donated just shy of $100,000 to at least eleven of the 53 members on the committee ahead of the 2022 midterm election, according to the New York Post.

This being in addition to a rather chummy relationship with Waters, who is seen in the footage below blowing SBF a kiss at a hearing last year.

Citing Federal Election Commission campaign data, the newspaper named names of those on the panel currently probing last month’s collapse of the FTX crypto exchange.

Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., received $2,900 from Bankman-Fried personally, while his brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, donated a total of $32,400 to Torres’ campaign and victory fund, the Post reported.

Torres said earlier this week the campaign contribution was “unsolicited” and called Bankman-Fried a “pathological liar,” while adding that he would be donating the amount.

“My ties to him are minimal,” the Democrat claimed, according to the Post.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., received $5,800 in personal donations from Bankman-Fried, according to FEC records, as well as two separate donations of $2,900 from FTX executive Mark Wetjen — Gottheimer also said he would be donating the funds to charity.

Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., the committee vice chair, received a $5,800 personal donation from Bankman-Fried and a matching donation from Wetjen, but he has no intentions of returning the money.

“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,” the lawmaker told Boston radio station WBUR.

Others on the receiving end of funding from Bankman-Fried and his FTX associates include Reps. Jim Himes (D-CT). Jesús ‘Chuy’ García (D-IL), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Cindy Axne (D-IA), and Sean Casten (D-IL).

Turns out, the FTX crypto exchange company was an equal opportunity giver in trying to buy influence, having also donated to three GOP lawmakers: U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer (R-MN), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and Ted Budd (R-NC).

Federal prosecutors claim that Bankman-Fried diverted investors’ money to cover expenses, debts, and risky trades at his crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research. He also allegedly made lavish purchases and illegal campaign contributions without telling his customers.

 

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