Cambridge Analytica, the controversial data harvester, had a lucrative deal with a Sarasota company linked to an associate of Steve Bannon, reports the Herald-Tribune.
The USA Exchange is among 125 creditors listed the Cambridge Analytica's bankruptcy filing and had agreed to pay Cambridge Analytica at least $440,000 in exchange for as many as one million registered users for the website, which was set up to foster business opportunities for individuals and cities.
The company, yet to be fully launched, is run by Andrew Badolato, a 52-year-old Nokomis resident who has recurrently been associated with Bannon for 15 years.
In exchange for payments, Cambridge Analytica said it would direct as many as one million registered users to the Sarasota company's website in the first year, "design and execute a qualitative research project, which will uncover additional psychological and behavior factors at play in the decision-making process of the aforementioned entities," and set up 10 "creative concept" displays for a digital campaign.
The agreement was signed on Jan. 18, 2018. According to a source connected to the company who declined to have his name used, Bannon had a role in setting up the deal even though he sold his stake in Cambridge Analytica in 2017 because he was serving in the White House. According to Bannon's financial disclosure form, his stake was $1 million to $5 million.
The Tampa Bay Times explored Bannon's Florida connections in March 2017. Among Bannon's early business pursuits: nasal spray.
Read more: Long before Trump hired him, Steve Bannon was making deals and kindling political fires in Florida