FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried funneled max donation to Nancy Pelosi's likely successor

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FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried donated the maximum amount an individual can give to a candidate to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif., likely successor.

Bankman-Fried made a contribution worth $5,800 to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., in July 2021, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data. While the amount was relatively tiny compared to the roughly $38 million the crypto entrepreneur funneled to candidates and political action committees (PAC) ahead of the midterm elections, it represented the maximum contribution an individual is allowed to donate to a single candidate under federal campaign finance laws.

According to the FEC, individual contributors are only permitted to give $2,900 per candidate per election. Individuals may combine two maximum contributions into a single dotation of $5,800 since primaries and general elections count as two separate elections.

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Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive officer of FTX, speaks during the Institute of International Finance annual membership meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 13. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Jeffries was the only House candidate who Bankman-Fried gave $5,800 to. He donated the same amount to various Democratic and Republican senators in 2021 and 2022.

Jeffries, who is currently the fifth-highest ranked Democrat in the House, is considered a likely successor to Pelosi when she steps down from her role as leader of the House Democrats, Politico recently reported. The New York Democrat is expected to have more behind-the-scenes support from other Democratic leaders compared to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., another member who could make a play for the top spot.

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"There’s nothing I would ever do to impede the progress of our up-and-coming young Democrats and I see him as an up-and-coming young Democrat," House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., told Politico. "He knows that, I didn’t have to tell him that — but I did."

House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., talks to reporters on June 29, 2021. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Bankman-Fried's donation to Jeffries, though, was just a small slice of his overall political givings during the midterm election cycle. The majority of his $38 million in donations were sent to Protect Our Future PAC and House Majority PAC, both of which exclusively supported Democratic candidates.

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Bankman-Fried's donations made him the second-largest donor to Democrats in the cycle, behind only George Soros who donated nearly $127 million.

Meanwhile, a massive liquidity crisis forced FTX to file for bankruptcy last week. Bankman-Fried's net worth subsequently dropped from an estimated $15.6 billion to no material wealth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The former billionaire admitted on Thursday that he had "f—ed up."

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