Posted by on September 19, 2023 3:41 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

Sam Bankman-Fried’s father advised top liberal dark money network Arabella Advisors: Lawsuit

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan federal court, June 15, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Sam Bankman-Fried’s father advised top liberal dark money network Arabella Advisors: Lawsuit

Gabe Kaminsky September 19, 03:14 PM September 19, 03:16 PM Video Embed

The father of disgraced cryptocurrency kingpin Sam Bankman-Fried apparently “sat on the advisory board” of the largest left-wing dark money network in the United States, according to a new lawsuit.

Bankman-Fried’s father, Stanford Law School professor Joseph Bankman, was accused alongside his wife, Stanford Law School professor Barbara Fried, in a Monday complaint by their son’s bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, of unlawfully siphoning off millions of dollars in firm funds to benefit their “pet causes” and themselves. Bankman, whom FTX says helped the company “navigate tax issues,” said at one point he “considered having funds made available by Sam through Arabella,” according to court documents.


“This meant that Bankman had unfettered access to the FTX Group’s financials and corporate structure — two things that would have alerted him that money was moving between and among the FTX Exchanges, FTX Insiders, and other legal entities,” the lawsuit alleged, referring to Sam Bankman-Fried’s father.

The revelation of the apparent advisory role was in a footnote on page 19 of the lawsuit. The Washington Examiner reached out to Arabella Advisors, a lawyer for FTX, and Bankman for comment.

Arabella Advisors, a for-profit consultancy, manages major liberal nonprofit groups that, in turn, sponsor entities that don’t have to file tax forms with the IRS. The company has faced heightened criticism from conservatives over this “dark money” arrangement, as well as opened itself up to accusations of hypocrisy, since top Democratic politicians, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), often rant about the alleged ills of so-called dark money.

Republicans have long held that dark money is a term for speech that Democrats don’t like and believe money in elections is a representation of speech.

The court filing specifically referred to the New Venture Fund, a charity managed by Arabella Advisors. It indicated that the fund “offered a platform through which FTX.US and its donors could contribute to select charitable causes.”

FTX is seeking to obtain millions of dollars that it says Bankman and Fried “fraudulently transferred and misappropriated.” The lawsuit says the pair “exploited their access and influence within the FTX enterprise to enrich themselves.”


“This is a dangerous attempt to intimidate Joe and Barbara and undermine the jury process just days before their child’s trial begins,” lawyers for the couple said in a statement, referring to how Sam Bankman-Fried is slated for an Oct. 3 trial on federal fraud charges.

Meanwhile, the family has held other ties to left-wing causes and made large donations to Democrats, according to campaign finance records. Fried previously ran the Democratic super PAC Mind the Gap, which “is known for its secretive operations where it attempts to quickly gather and coordinate donations over a short time to prevent Republicans from mobilizing donors in response,” according to Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank.

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