A major Democratic donor who partnered with a Malaysian fund that allegedly embezzled billions of dollars and is under investigation by the Department of Justice has maxed out contributions to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) this year, filings show.
Frank White Jr., the cofounder and CEO of DuSable Capital Management, a D.C.-based renewable energy and infrastructure firm, has been a deep-pocketed funder of Democratic candidates for years.
White acted as the national vice-chair for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and was a top bundler for the campaign. White later served as a member of Hillary Clinton’s National Finance Committee and bundled more than $100,000 for the 2016 campaign, while adding between $10,000 and $25,000 in donations to the Clinton Foundation.
White, who has given hundreds of thousands to Democrats over the years, on March 22 sent a maxed out contribution of $33,900 to the DCCC, the Democrats fundraising arm for congressional candidates, according to filings.
White’s company, DuSable Capital, was formed in 2013 with the intent of focusing on equity and debt investments with alternative energy companies in the U.S. and places around the world such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico, Burma, Brazil, Russia, and India, according to the firm’s regulatory filings.
DuSable raised $505 million through a Delaware-based entity called Yurus Private Equity Fund I, LP, according to Security and Exchange Commission filings. In September 2013, DuSable submitted filings to the Foreign Agents Registration Unit (FARA) to represent the Malaysian government and 1MDB, a state investment fund created by the Malaysian government to promote economic development in the country.
DuSable was paid $506,000 by 1MDB to help the Malaysian entity with power plant development by providing financial planning assistance. DuSable would also help the fund find locations solar projects.
1MDB through 1MDB Synergy Sdn Bhd, its wholly owned subsidiary, in April 2014 entered into a Master Joint Agreement with Yurus Private Equity to develop solar power plants in Malaysia, with DuSable acting as the investment advisor to the Yurus PE fund. DuSable was given 49 percent of the shareholding agreement while the other 51 percent went to 1MDB.
A half-year after the agreement was struck, 1MDB paid DuSable $69 million for its 49 percent stake in the venture. The payment was made before any construction had taken place.
The Justice Department announced in July 2016 that high-level officials and associates at 1MDB were being investigated for misappropriating $4.5 billion in funds between 2009 and 2015. The government announced they would seek to recover $1 billion that was allegedly laundered through the United States.
1MDB allegedly laundered the money using fraudulent documents and representations through a series of complex transactions and shell companies that had bank accounts in the U.S. and internationally.
Investigators close to the probe said that they believed $10 million was allegedly—and indirectly—sent to White in a business deal, according to reports from 2016, although White and DuSable are not known to have been implicated in any wrongdoing.
“These cases involve billions of dollars that should have been used to help the people of Malaysia, but instead was used by a small number of individuals to fuel their astonishing greed,” a U.S. Attorney said in 2017. “The misappropriation of 1MDB funds was accomplished with an extravagant web of lies and bogus transactions that were brought to light by the dedicated attorneys and law enforcement agents who continue to work on this matter. We simply will not allow the United States to be a place where corrupt individuals can expect to hide assets and lavishly spend money that should be used for the benefit of citizens of other nations.”
Malaysia issued an arrest warrant on June 7 for Low Taek Jho, who is better known as Jho Low, and is considered a central figure in the 1MDB scandal, Reuters reported. 1MDB is being probed in at least six countries.
Frank White Jr. could not be reached for comment. The contact email on DuSable’s website bounced back as undeliverable. The phone number is also disconnected.
The Department of Justice said that they do not comment on pending investigations when asked about 1MDB and White.
The DCCC also did not return a request for comment.