116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Iowa Democrats this year received multiple donations — including one for a quarter-million dollars — from former leaders of a now-bankrupt cryptocurrency company whose leader faces federal fraud charges.
The Iowa Democratic Party said Wednesday it is looking into a $250,000 campaign donation from Nishad Singh, a former executive of the cryptocurrency company FTX. Singh’s large donation was first reported by the Des Moines Register.
But that was not the only donation Iowa Democrats received from FTX leaders in 2022.
Singh gave a one-time donation of $250,000 to the Iowa Democratic Party on June 17, according to state campaign finance records.
A separate $10,000 donation from Singh to the state party on the same date is recorded in federal campaign finance records.
Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s founder and CEO, donated $9.756.20 to the Iowa Democratic Party on Aug. 31, according to federal campaign finance records.
Bankman-Fried also donated $2,900 to U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, on Oct. 17, and $5,000 to a PAC that supported Axne on Sept. 28, according to federal campaign finance records.
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas recently and faces myriad charges of fraud and money laundering.
Singh donated more than $8 million to Democratic candidates and causes in 2021 and 2022, according to federal campaign finance records. Bankman-Fried donated more than $40 million to various political candidates and causes, from both major political parties, according to federal records.
The Iowa Democratic Party said it is “aware of the situation and the recent developments. We are looking into the matter,” the party’s executive director Erin Davison-Rippey said in a statement about Singh’s donation.
Axne’s spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.
GOP: Return money
Iowa Republicans issued a statement Tuesday saying the Iowa Democratic Party should return Singh’s donation.
“It is unconscionable for the Iowa Democrat Party to continue to sit on money from known fraudsters who blatantly scammed innocent people,” Republican Party of Iowa spokesman Kush Desai said in a statement. “(Iowa Democratic Party) Chairman Ross Wilburn should do the right thing and return the $250,000 contribution.”
While the bulk of Bankman-Fried’s donations were to Democratic candidates and causes, he also donated $45,000 to Republicans’ U.S. House campaign organization and to Republican U.S. Senate candidates like Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, Susan Collins in Maine and John Boozman in Arkansas.
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