A watchdog group has stated that the purported advisory role held by Joseph Bankman, Sam Bankman-Fried’s father, at a leading Democratic dark money network “deserves severe attention.” Sam Bankman-Fried is the disgraced former crypto entrepreneur.
On Monday, this claim was made public in a lawsuit filed against Bankman-Fried’s parents by their former employer, FTX. The suit claims that the parents exploited their influence to profit millions.
According to the complaint, Bankman-Fried’s father “sat on the advisory board of Arabella Advisors” while also teaching law at Stanford.
Arabella Advisors, a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., oversees a nonprofit network that serves as a fiscal sponsor to dozens of left-leaning organizations.
Each year, the funds it oversees—which include the New Venture Fund, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, the Windward Fund, and the Hopewell Fund—raise anonymous donations totaling over a billion dollars, then distribute them to various liberal organizations and initiatives across the country.
According to Caitlin Sutherland, executive director of Americans for Public Trust, “You can tell a lot about someone by the company they maintain,” therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Arabella Advisors network is linked to the Sam Bankman-Fried affair. The extent to which SBF attempted to use the most potent liberal dark money network in America to increase its political influence warrants close examination of this arrangement.
Court records show that FTX had transferred $8 million to the New Venture Fund, administered by Arabella. The FTX lawyers suing Bankman and his wife, Barbara Fried, appear to have made a typo when they stated that he serves in an advising capacity at the company.
According to a representative for the fund, donations were distributed to “well-vetted philanthropic groups addressing environmental concerns and hunger” in early 2022 from a project directed by Mr. Bankman and linked with the FTX Foundation. There is an ongoing legal process, and the remaining funds will be repaid once that case is concluded.
Formerly dedicated to combating climate change and other global health challenges, Bankman-Fried’s philanthropic collective, the FTX Foundation, has since disbanded.
The Good Food Institute, which advocates for the widespread adoption of plant-based meat, has received funding from the organization, and so have the CarbonPlan and Giving Green, two climate projects working toward a “green transition” away from fossil fuels.