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An executive from the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX is under investigation for allegedly making illegal donations to his girlfriend’s political campaign, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are examining a series of donations by former FTX executive Ryan Salame to his then-girlfriend Michelle Bond during her bid to win the Republican nomination for a congressional district on Long Island. Specifically, they are looking at money transferred from Salame to Bond, as well as loans the candidate made to her own campaign.
Bond, whose run was supported by prominent conservatives, received just over $56,000 in donations from Salame and other FTX employees, according to Federal Election Commission records.
In total, Bond received over $659,000 in contributions for her campaign in 2022.
A representative for Salame did not return a request for comment from Decrypt.
Salame has floated in the crosshairs of federal investigators since the collapse of FTX last year, and the arrest of its disgraced CEO Sam Bankman-Fried on charges for illegal political contributions.
Formerly the head of FTX Bahamas, Salame is known as a prolific political donor who has given heavily to Republican candidates, including Bond’s fellow Long Island Republican, Rep. George Santos.
Two days before FTX collapsed, Salame reportedly flagged questionable transactions to authorities in the Bahamas, triggering an investigation into funds transferred to Alameda Research.
In April, FBI agents raided a Washington D.C. home belonging to Salame as part of an investigation into Bankman-Fried's political operation. Federal authorities are looking into an estimated $24 million in donations made by Salame during the 2022 midterm elections, funds that they allege was taken from FTX's customer funds.
For her part, Bond ran on a campaign that included pro-cryptocurrency positions, although they did not appear to figure prominently in her campaign. She previously served as president of the Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM), a lobbying group that advocates for pro-crypto policies in Washington D.C.
A spokesman for ADAM told Decrypt in a statement that it and Bond "voluntarily separated" in late 2022, and that they have "no affiliation with one another at this time."
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a statement from ADAM.