According to FEC filings, a number of top former employees of now-defunct crypto exchange FTX had made hefty donations to George Santos.
These donations were made to the alleged scammer during his successful campaign for Congress in 2022.
The co-chief executive of FTX, Ryan Salame, a former senior executive of FTX, Claire Watanabe and the ex-head of product at FTX, Ramnik Arora were the ones who made the donations.
They donated the maximum possible amount to the campaign of George Santos in the summer of 2022, as allowed under federal law.
The donations that Salame made to Santos do not seem to be very irregular because he was a prolific political donor.
Therefore, he made donations worth millions to candidates in Congress from both political parties in the election cycle of 2022.
However, Arora and Watanabe came off as more targeted in terms of providing politicians with financial support.
Other than Santos, the donations that the two former FTX employees made were to failed House candidates.
These included so-called effective altruist Carrick Flynn, who had been favored by Sam Bankman-Fried and Salame’s girlfriend, Michelle Bond, who had been a major crypto proponent.
The effective altruism movement had been launched by Sam Bankman-Fried, as he represented himself as an altruist.
This refers to the use of rational strategies for maximizing philanthropy’s positive image on as many people as possible.
However, SBF had been arrested in December and is now facing eight criminal charges including campaign finance violations, money laundering, and wire fraud.
In their allegations, authorities also believe that Bankman-Fried embezzled funds from his customers to support his political ambitions.
It has come to light that he hosted lawmakers and political representatives in a property in Washington D.C that had been purchased by his brother’s charity.
In the 2022 election cycle, Watanabe made donations to Karoline Leavitt, who had served as a White House Aid for Donald Trump and the Republic far-right House candidate is also anti-regulation.
It is apparent that the donations made by Arora and Watanabe were to anti-regulation, pro-crypto, and effective altruist candidates and this makes sense.
But, it is unclear as to why Santos received such massive donations from the FTX senior executives. His campaign did not mention financial regulation, effective altruism, and crypto.
The Long Island politician had remained relatively obscure, but he garnered national attention when it turned out that a number of claims he had made during the campaign trail were false.
According to Santos, he was a volleyball star who graduated from Baruch College and then went to N.Y.U to get his MBA.
But, there is no record of him attending the two universities. He also claimed to have worked at CitiGroup and Goldman Sachs, but the companies have not heard of him at all.
He also made up stories on the campaign trail about his grandparents escaping during the Holocaust and his mother’s death on 9/11, all of which turned out to be lies.