Failed Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke claims he returned a $1 million donation to disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried; however, it appears that he did not return all the money, according to a report.
A spokesperson for O’Rourke said in November that the campaign returned the “unsolicited” $1 million donation Bankman-Fried gave to the Texas Democrat in October. A spokesperson for O’Rourke said the repayment was made before FTX went bankrupt and Bankman-Fried’s allegedly illegal business practices were uncovered.
However, the Washington Free Beacon found that the O’Rourke team did not return all the money:
But O’Rourke’s latest campaign brief contradicts those assurances. In a report last week, the campaign revealed a $900,000 refund to Bankman-Fried on Nov. 4. The campaign said it was holding the remaining $100,000 pending the outcome of the investigation into Bankman-Fried, who has been accused of campaign finance violations and fraud related to his cryptocurrency company, FTX. . [Emphasis added]
The O’Rourke campaign said it would put the money into a fund for “victims of the FTX collapse”. It is unclear why the campaign only earmarked part of the donation for the victims. And the pledge contradicts the campaign’s initial claim that it received and returned Bankman-Fried’s donation before news of his wrongdoing broke. FTX declared bankruptcy on November 11.
But an extra $100,000 on the books would come in handy for O’Rourke, whose campaign has just $212,356 in cash. It is unclear if O’Rourke plans to run for office in the future. He lost by 11 points this year to Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R). He lost a 2018 Senate race to Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race two months before the first primary.
Neither Chris Evans, a spokesperson for O’Rourke, nor anyone from O’Rourke’s campaign responded to requests for clarification on these apparent inconsistencies, the Free Beacon reported.
O’Rourke’s campaign has not said whether it will return a $100,000 donation from FTX executive Nishad Singh.