Fraud allegations are like a certainty. Since then Sam Bankman-FriedHis downfall last month – and just last month – seems pretty clear that he will face financial crime charges similar to those that the United States Attorney for the Eastern District. South of New York announced one week ago. But there is another number that has not been sealed in December 13 indictment that’s not necessarily related to the disgraced crypto king’s business practices: SBF, SDNY allegedly, “caused donations to be reported under the names of his accomplices instead of the names of the real source of money.” Violation of campaign finance laws, allegedly done with the help of “known and unknown others”.
Who else was involved in the SBF’s alleged straw funding scheme? That’s still unclear, but a separate ongoing scandal is raising some eyebrows. In New York third magazine, David Freedlander report that Sean McElwee — flamboyant, well-connected Democratic activist, ousted Data for Progress founder and SBF ally — prompted one employee to make a substantial donation during the 2022 midterm cycle. Wednesday, political analyst Ethan winterto be identify of CNBC as an employee donated nearly $31,000 to the candidates in this election; he has resigned from Data for Progress, sources told the outlet. Winter confirmed his resignation letter politics on Thursday, but did not appear to answer any questions about the alleged straw funding program. (He denied the allegation to Freedlander.) “I have believed and continue to believe in the mission of Data for Progress,” Winter said. “I wish for nothing but the best.”
According to one politics sources, the $31,000 that Winter is supposed to donate to candidates in 2022 will represent about a quarter of his salary. And, as the paper notes, he’s not the only McElwee subordinate to have contributed unusually large sums of money to the 2022 candidates. That puts McElwee, who has been forced out of the private team. The progressive ideology he founded in 2018, is subject to even more scrutiny than he has faced, including for gambling about the elections his polling organization predicted.
“Sean McElwee has been fired for alleged misconduct and we are conducting a fully independent review of that conduct,” Data for Progress said. politics in a statement. “We will continue to work alongside our talented team of policy experts and data scientists to provide exploration that drives the progressive movement forward.”
An attorney for McElwee told Freedlander that the straw donor’s allegation was “completely untrue.” But he has expressed distaste for campaign finance rules in the past. Based on politics, McElwee told a friend at a party over the summer that restrictions on donations were “stupid.” “Why can’t I give more than $2,200 to someone?” he asked, while supposedly playing Super Smash Bros. “His view was that the financing rules for that campaign violated his First Amendment rights,” a friend of McElwee told the Playbook.
The alleged scandal at Data for Progress is notable, given McElwee’s alliance with Bankman-Fried, who was arrested in the Bahamas on December 12 and extradited to the US on Wednesday, the same day two plus the — Caroline Ellison and Gary Vuong — pleaded guilty for cost fraud. In the wake of the Bankman-Fried cryptocurrency exchange boom, McElwee acted as an advisor to the founder of FTX, who promised to give a billion dollars to the Democratic Party before the 2024 election. ( Bankman-Fried, who claims to be a believer in “effective altruism,” is second largest individual donor to Democratic causes in the 2022 cycle, but spoke The methods in one interview after losing his grace he donated the same amount to the Republicans – in black money.) Winter, McElwee, and Gabe Bankman-Friedbrother of the founder of FTX, has given widespread support to Democratic candidates, many of whom also happen to be considered crypto-friendly, as McElwee critics have pointed out.
Like puck report in November, McElwee’s departure from Data for Progress was due in part to his alliance with Bankman-Fried. But the collateral damage from the SBF’s collapse could be greater if it turns out McElwee is tied up in this straw funding scheme. Not only can it trap the activist, who has become prominent with the hashtag # #AbolishICE in the past Donald TrumpPresidential term. It could also be another headache for Democrats: Already try to figure out what to do with the money they receive from the SBF, they may have to factor in the downfall of McElwee, a deeply ingrained figure in Democratic politics whose influence from the old institution extends as far as the House. White. Attorney McElwee Matt Levine told politics that he did not pressure anyone to participate in the straw donation scheme and said he had “no reason to believe” what the campaign funding fee against Bankman-Fried had “to do with come” McElwee. When asked by the outlet if the Justice Department had contacted him, Levine replied, “We have no further comment at this time.”