Pennsylvania Democrats are keeping silent for now as to what they intend to do with campaign donations received from Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of the cryptocurrency trading company FTX.

Bankman-Fried was in the Bahamas earlier this month, and was later charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with eight various counts of fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance offenses after the dizzying crash of FTX, which lost $32 billion in valuation and investor deposits in less than a month. 

Bankman-Fried, known as SBF to some, had also been a prolific political donor in recent years, spreading wealth to candidates, nonprofits, and political parties of both stripes, but his political giving had a decided tilt towards Democrats.

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In Pennsylvania, Bankman-Fried gave $10,000 to the state Democratic Party in August, according to FEC records. He also contributed $2,900 in April to Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Northeast Philly Democrat representing Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District.

While the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic committees are poised to return about one million dollars in campaign contributions from the crypto-exchange founder, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and Boyle’s campaign did not respond to emailed requests for comment on their intentions regarding the money. Investors who have been fleeced are asking the money to be returned, as is the new leadership of FTX.

Source: FEC campaign finance search

A week ago, DNC spokesman Daniel Wessel said that the group “will set aside the $815,000 in contributions it has received from Bankman-Fried since 2020. That total includes donations Bankman-Fried made directly to the DNC as well as the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund and the Biden Victory Fund, which was a joint fundraising committee approved by Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, the DNC and state Democratic parties,” according to a report from the Associated Press.

An analysis by the Washington Post found SBF donated “about $40 million this cycle alone into campaign committees and other groups, mostly aligned with Democrats, federal records show.”

Rep. Boyle won his newly drawn, heavily Democratic Congressional seat by over forty points in November. Boyle is slated to become the ranking member of the House Budget Committee when the new Congress convenes in January.

Pennsylvania Democrats had their most successful election cycle in a decade, flipping the open U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey, and likely taking the Pennsylvania state house out of Republican hands after three special elections are held in early 2023. 

Todd Shepherd is Broad + Liberty’s chief investigative reporter. Send him tips at, or use his encrypted email at @shepherdreports

6 thoughts on “Pa. Democrats won’t say if they’ll return Sam Bankman-Fried donations — for now”

  1. Keep the contributions quite until the situation leaves the front page and some of the stink leaves the crypto-bucks. The mantra here is never give back a gift, no matter its origin.

    1. Once the bankruptcy goes into high gear I would like to see a complete list (Democrats & Republicans) who accepted money from FTX leadership. Then I would like to see them return the cash to FTX for reimbursement of those who were swindled, and for those elected officials who took the money to recuse themselves from any investigation of FTX misdeeds.

  2. Will Republicans say if they’ll return the campaign money they from the gang of thugs that plotted to kidnap the governor of MI? Will they return campaign money from the guy who sent bombs to their political enemies in the media? Will they return money from openly fascist neo-nazis like Trump’s buddy Matthew Warren Heimbach or Richard Spencer? Will Republicans say if they’ll return any of the money donated by members the lawless mob that looted and pillaged our nation’s Capitol?

    Boy does b&l love virtue signalling while simultaneously covering up their own party’s corruption. I guess that’s typical agitprop for an outlet whose only mission is to toe the party line and push their narratives. Do as we say, not as we do!

    1. All politicians should be held accountable for accepting donations from questionable sources. The issue with the SBF/FTX donations is that they were possibly made with the depositors money, not FTX’s. That’s why the bankruptcy proceedings may precipitate a claw back of them. Additionally, according to the mew articles I have seen so far, both parties received them, but the majority went to the Democrat party. All accepting them – either directly or through one or more of the PACs that SBF/FTX funded – should give the money back to the company and recuse themselves from taking part in any investigation of the mess. Also, look at the relationship between the family of SBFs girlfriend whom he put in charge of Alameda and Gensler who’s heading the SEC. This is a mess that entangles a large swath of the Washington elected/appointed crew.

  3. Thank you Broad and Liberty for even mentioning that Democrats received Bankman-Fried contributions. Almost all of his many contributions went to Democrats. The Democrat party and Bankman-Fried have a lot in common. Certainly in their values. The mainstream media doesn’t even mention this. Most Democrats are communists and believe the people owe them a living anyway. Please keep pushing on this – mention politicians names.

  4. Two comments. 1) a substantial portion of contributions to the Democratic party was washed thru contributions to the Ukraine which was then repatriated to both Ds and Rs. as contributions. 2) After several years of incessantly calling the Jan 6 riot at the Capitol an “insurrection” I am motivated to say: It was a riot, not even a good riot, but never an “insurrection.” The people who keep calling it an insurrection are trying to keep a weak narrative alive. Most who are labeling it an insurrection wouldn’t recognize an insurrection if it ran over them. No matter how many cow signs you hang on a horse, it is still a horse.

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