by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The father of disgraced cryptocurrency kingpin Sam Bankman-Fried sat on the advisory board of the liberal dark money behemoth Arabella Advisors and likely had access to the group’s funds, a federal lawsuit filed against Bankman-Fried’s parents on Tuesday charged.
The lawsuit, filed by Bankman-Fried’s defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, cites communications from the elder Bankman in which he discussed having access to Arabella funds. The suit also reveals that FTX had a special arrangement with the largest Arabella affiliate, the New Venture Fund, through which the crypto trading firm and its donors could contribute to “select charitable causes.” Sam Bankman-Fried is accused of stealing billions of dollars from FTX customer funds to keep his hedge fund afloat and to donate to political causes.
Though the extent of Allan Joseph Bankman’s involvement in the Arabella advisory board or the level of control he had over the consultancy is unclear, the lawsuit shows the elder Bankman discussing Arabella and its corresponding non-profit, New Venture Fund, as vehicles to move money around and obscure its origin.
Arabella’s network of five nonprofit funds, which do not have to disclose their donors, have spent billions of dollars operating a vast array of left-wing advocacy groups that present themselves to the public as grassroots initiatives.
Arabella spokesman Steve Sampson told the Washington Free Beacon that Bankman “has never had any role at Arabella Advisors.”
But the lawsuit cites communications from the elder Bankman in which he discussed routing Arabella funds through his son.
“We considered having funds made available by Sam through Arabella, through our own 501(c)(3), through a foreign entity with a 501(c)(3)-like charter, and through Alameda as a public benefit corporation,” Bankman allegedly said in connection with a discussion surrounding gift taxes.