Investigation Into Political Contribution Leads To Referral For Possible Criminal Prosecution
Salem, Ore. The Oregon Elections Division has announced that it will refer the case of Nishad Singh to the Oregon Department of Justice for review and potential criminal prosecution. The investigation was prompted by a $500,000 contribution made to the Oregon Democratic Party in October 2022, which was incorrectly reported as originating from Prime Trust LLC.
Alma Whalen, Elections Manager, stated that Nishad Singh had admitted under oath in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to making political donations in his own name using funds from Sam Bankman-Fried’s companies FTX and Alameda. This admission, along with information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which suggested that the contribution in question was funded with money unlawfully obtained by Sam Bankman-Fried, prompted the decision to refer the case to the Oregon Department of Justice for potential prosecution under state law.
Whalen emphasized that after a thorough seven-month investigation, the Elections Division concluded that there was sufficient evidence to support the referral. The investigation did not find clear evidence that the Democratic Party of Oregon was aware of the true donor when reporting the contribution. However, it determined that the Party could have exercised more diligence in compliance. As part of a settlement with the Party, the Elections Division will require public disclosure of the steps being taken to prevent future errors and a report on their implementation. These oversight requirements aim to ensure transparency and future compliance with campaign finance laws, providing a resolution that may not have been possible through legal proceedings.
In accordance with the settlement, the Democratic Party of Oregon will pay a $15,000 fine, with the potential for up to $50,000 in total fines if they fail to comply with the oversight measures. The settlement does not prevent the reopening of an investigation into the Party if new information emerges.
The Elections Division says the referral of Nishad Singh’s case to the Oregon Department of Justice marks a significant development in the ongoing investigation surrounding the political contribution, while the settlement with the Democratic Party of Oregon aims to enforce stricter compliance measures to prevent similar mistakes in the future.