Cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was just the latest major Democratic Party donor to be publicly disgraced.
Maybe Democrats should have seen this one coming.
SAM BANKMAN-FRIED, former CEO of FTX
Total Democratic donations: $50 million
Notable recipients: President Joe Biden, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., the Democratic National Committee
The scandal: The collapse this month of FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, which was once valued at $32 billion, left investors facing as much as $8 billion in losses.
- Bankman-Fried, the second-largest individual donor to Democrats in the 2022 elections, and FTX are under investigation by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Texas State Securities Board.
Bernie Madoff, founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities
Total Democratic donations: $610,000
Notable recipients: Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
The scandal: From the 1980s to 2008, Madoff ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history, defrauding investors of $65 billion by using new investments to pay “returns.”
- Regulators ignored repeated warnings about Madoff dating back to 1992.
- After the scheme unraveled in 2008, Madoff pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to prison, where he died in 2021.
JEFFREY EPSTEIN, billionaire financier
Total Democratic donations: $147,246 (plus $18,350 to Republicans)
Notable recipients: Former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer, former President George H.W. Bush
The scandal: A joint FBI-NYPD task force arrested the well-connected socialite in July 2019 on sex trafficking charges.
- New York state prosecutors charged Epstein with sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex.
- The grand jury indictment alleged that dozens of underage girls had been brought to Epstein’s residences.
- In August 2019, Epstein was found dead in his jail cell while awaiting trial.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN, co-founder of Miramax
Total donations: $1.2 million
Notable recipients: President Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
The scandal: In 2017, dozens of women accused Weinstein of exploiting his position as one of Hollywood’s most powerful film producers to sexually abuse them, sparking the #MeToo movement.
- Weinstein was found guilty of felony sex crimes and rape in 2020 and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
- In October, he was extradited to California to face a second criminal trial for sexual assault against multiple women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
ED BUCK, businessman
Total donations: $500,000
Notable recipients: California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
The scandal: In separate incidents in July 2017 and January 2019, Buck killed two male prostitutes by injecting them with lethal doses of methamphetamine as part of a fetish ritual at his West Hollywood home.
- Buck was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murders in April.