By ANDREW SELSKY
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Democratic Party of Oregon said Friday it will send a half-million dollars to the U.S. Marshals Service that had been donated by a former executive at the disgraced cryptocurrency exchange FTX, to conform with a request from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Oregon elections officials had already fined the Democratic Party of Oregon $15,000 for wrongly reporting the source of the campaign donation last year. Oregon Senate Republicans had demanded that state Democrats send back the $500,000 campaign donation.
The Democratic Party of Oregon said it was conforming with an April 13 request from the Justice Department. The party received the funds last fall from Nishad Singh, who pleaded guilty in February to federal criminal fraud charges, including one count of conspiracy to violate federal campaign finance laws. The party said Singh, who was the engineering director at collapsed cryptocurrency giant FTX, had lied to the party about who the donor was.
The party said it was also giving up a $7,100 donation from FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, also following a request from the U.S. Department of Justice.
“This resolution will fully account for these donations by ensuring the funds go where they belong — to federal law enforcement officials working to achieve justice in this case,” said Rosa Colquitt, chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon.
Colquitt said the payment to federal officials was coming from the campaign accounts of Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek, both of Oregon’s U.S. senators and three Democratic U.S. House members.
Singh pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and to defraud the Federal Election Commission. Prosecutors alleged Singh contributed to candidates and political committees and reported those contributions to the commission in the names of people who didn’t actually pay for them.