Fagan Will Fine Oregon Democrats for FTX Donation

Until recently, the Democratic Party of Oregon had enough money in its account to return the contribution. Not now.

THE DECIDER: Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan in April of 2022. (Brian Brose)

More than a month after WW’s initial inquiry, the Democratic Party of Oregon still won’t say what it plans to do with a $500,000 contribution made in the name of Nishad Singh, former director of engineering at FTX, the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange run by Sam Bankman-Fried.

Among other charges, the U.S. Department of Justice says Bankman-Fried made millions of dollars in donations in other people’s names using cash from customers’ accounts at FTX.

“No updates or comments at this time,” Brad Martin, executive director of the DPO, said in an email.

Until recently, the DPO had enough money in its account to return the contribution. Now, the account shows $333,000, according to state records.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan opened an investigation in November into whether the contribution was made under a false name, requesting information. The DPO responded Dec. 20, and Fagan’s office is reviewing the response, spokesman Ben Morris says. The response isn’t public.

Separately, Fagan plans to fine the state party for a late filing about the donation, which draws a civil penalty. The DPO amended information about the Oct. 4 contribution after the seven-day deadline, Morris says. The DPO waited until Oct. 31 to report that the money came from Singh and not from a Las Vegas cryptocurrency company called Prime Trust.

If the DOJ is correct, the contribution may in fact have come from Bankman-Fried, who is under house arrest at his parents’ house on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California, where they are professors.

(This story has been updated to clarify that the penalty for late filing is a civil matter and that it is separate from any criminal investigation into the FTX donation.)

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