Rep.-elect Maxwell Frost to donate money from disgraced cryptocurrency CEO

Federal records show Sam Bankman-Fried donated to Frost’s congressional campaign

FILE - Maxwell Frost, Democratic congressional candidate for Florida's District 10, speaks during a rally, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Incoming congressman Maxwell Frost said he will donate campaign money from disgraced cryptocurrency CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, after prosecutors said the FTX founder broke campaign finance laws.

Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas on Tuesday and faces charges for defrauding $1.8 billion from investors. His firm filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11.

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Federal prosecutors also claim Bankman-Fried broke campaign finance laws by falsely reporting donations from his crypto hedge fund as coming from other people. According to The Washington Post, he spent $40 million in the 2022 election cycle on political candidates and other groups.

That includes about 95% of the funds to a super PAC called Protect Our Future, which provided support to liberal candidates across the country, according to the Post. Federal Election Commission records show Bankman-Fried donated $27 million to the group.

Federal records showed Bankman-Fried donated to both Republican and Democratic candidates, but much of his money went to Democrats or liberal groups.

One of those candidates was Maxwell Frost, who won the U.S. House District 10 seat that encompasses a large swath of Orange County. Election finance reform was one of the issues Frost campaigned on.

Frost issued a statement on Twitter regarding the donation, saying he never solicited a donation from Bankman-Fried, but he got one anyway. According to the Federal Election Commission, Bankman-Fried donated $2,900 to Frost’s campaign.

“I never solicited a donation from SBF, but he did donate to my campaign. We are an operation that rejects corporate PAC $$ which means we also reject stolen money,” Frost tweeted.

Frost said he would be donating the money to the Zebra Coalition, a group in Orlando that helps LGBTQ+ youth facing homelessness and other issues.

“It seems clear that Sam Bankman-Fried cheated and conned over a million people out of their money. Many of these being working class families that lost their life savings. They deserve justice and Sam Bankman-Fried should be held accountable,” Frost tweeted.

Frost added he also benefitted during the campaign from the support of Protect Our Future, which he said he never asked for. Super PACs cannot directly fund candidates but can provide electioneering support on their own.

“All and all, this highlights many problems in our system. From regulation and oversight to getting big money out of politics, there is so much work that needs to be done,” Frost said.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks federal campaign spending, Protect Our Future spent $963,177 on Frost’s behalf.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.