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NY Times / AP: Within days after being denied the 2018 payout of the $25M subsidy for F1, COTA's Bobby Epstein donated almost $100K to Texas Governor, Lt. Governor, and Lawmakers. Now there's legislation pending to force retroactive payment.

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Texas May Give F1's US Grand Prix Its Missing $25 Million




Circuit of the Americas President Bobby Epstein, who also founded the investment firm Prophet Capital, has pumped about $100,000 in campaign donations to state officials and lawmakers in the six months since the 2018 race, including donations to Gov. Greg Abbott, whose office controls the fund, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate.

Other donations went to several lawmakers who sit on committees that first considered the bill or live in districts near the racetrack. Epstein did not immediately return messages seeking comment Thursday.


State law requires applicants to submit an anti-human trafficking plan 30 days before an event as part of an effort to combat spikes in prostitution. U.S. Grand Prix organizers didn't file their plan until 11 days before the 2018 race and were disqualified for reimbursement. Within weeks, Epstein donated $50,000 to Abbott and $25,000 to Patrick, and donated nearly $13,000 to members of the committees considering the bill.

The bill doesn't name the Circuit of the Americas or the U.S. Grand Prix, but it specifically carves out a second chance to apply for events that miss the 30-day deadline for the anti-human trafficking plan if it gets filed seven days prior, and is used during the event. Both of those details apply to the Austin race.

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