• The largest political advocacy donation in US history was revealed on Monday by The New York Times.
  • Barre Seid donated $1.6 billion to Marble Freedom Trust, a political advocacy group led by Leonard Leo.
  • The transaction was made through a sale of assets, which meant Seid did not pay any taxes on the donation.

A little-known billionaire tech manufacturer gave a whopping $1.6 dollar contribution to a group called Marble Freedom Trust, making history as the largest donation ever to a political advocacy nonprofit, ProPublica reported.

Barre Seid, a 90-year-old Chicago native, used a system of loopholes that allowed the huge donation to skirt tax laws and end up in the pockets of Leonard A. Leo, the former Federalist Society Vice President now at the helm of the newly created Marble Freedom Trust.

The donation, made in 2020 after the trust was formed, was revealed by The New York Times on Monday and could help shape conservative politics and influence elections for months to come.

Leo’s new group is a 501(c)4 organization, which means that while it is exempt from paying taxes, donors cannot write off the donations from their income tax filings, the Times reported. However, donations of assets can circumvent this and allows financial supporters to avoid taxes on the sale of said assets.

Seid donated the $1.6 billion by handing over all the shares of his former company — an electronic equipment company now known as Tripp Lite — before it was acquired by an Irish company for $1.65 billion, according to tax records obtained by the Times.

As a result, Marble Freedom Trust and Seid paid no federal taxes on the money transfer. Ray D. Madoff, a tax law professor at Boston College, told the Times that although the donation was legal, it was “costing the American taxpayers to support the political spending of the wealthiest Americans.”

Although Seid has not been a prominent figure in the world of conservative politics, he has had his fair share of political controversies over the past few years, ProPublica reported.

Seid has previously donated to the Heartland Institute, a nonprofit known to spread climate disinformation, and also appeared on a donor list to help fund the distribution of DVDs on “Radical Islam” in 2008, ProPublica reported.

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