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Campus North Residential Commons residential and dining facility at the University of Chicago. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Financier Steve Stevanovich, the subject of a fantastic investigation by the Chicago Maroon, sits on the storied board of trustees of the University of Chicago, alongside real billionaires like Ken Griffin and David Rubenstein.

Background: In 2006 he pledged $7 million to endow the the Stevanovich Center for Financial Mathematics; in 2014, he followed that up with another $10 million for something called the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. And in 2017, he started talking about a "nine-figure" donation, saying that his funds were worth billions of dollars.

Why it matters: Stevanovich's funds weren't worth billions. The Maroon reveals that far from being a billionaire, Stevanovich hasn't even managed to meet his existing pledges.

  • He's $2.8 million short on the $7 million pledge, he hasn't coughed up a penny of the $10 million pledge, and the university "has agreed not to accept payments" from him while he's embroiled in litigation surrounding his loans to a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme. He's also being investigated by the SEC.

Between the lines: Stevanovich made $280 million lending money to convicted Ponzi schemer Thomas Petters; he got out, suspiciously, just before the scheme collapsed.

  • He also contrived to turn $12 million of loans to a company called Groen Brothers Aviation into a total debt, after interest, of $150 million.
  • That in turn allowed him to take control of the company and enter into a joint venture in Inner Mongolia which allegedly came with rights to 20 million tons of coal worth some $1 billion.

The SEC says that GBA only has one full-time employee. Its former employees are suing it for unpaid wages. But as recently as last year, Stevanovich was claiming that GBA (since renamed to Skyworks) was worth $1.7 billion, and that as soon as he could liquidate that investment, he could make good on all his pledges.

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πŸ‘»: How the no-spectator Olympics could affect the athletes

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ: "What an honor it is to watch you soar," first lady tells U.S. Olympians

🌏: Meet the underdogs from Latin America

πŸ₯‡: The six new sports at Tokyo 2020

πŸ’‰ About 100 U.S. Olympic athletes are unvaccinated

✍️ Axios at the Olympics: What it's like inside the opening ceremony

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Senate Democrats demand answers on FBI's Kavanaugh probe

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Democrats are demanding that the FBI hand over "all records and communications" related to the FBI tip line set up to investigate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was a nominee in 2018.

Why it matters: The ask comes after the FBI revealed it received more than 4,500 tips about Kavanaugh when he was awaiting Senate confirmation amid sexual assault allegations. Only the most "relevant" of these tips were forwarded to the Trump White House.

Chip relief on the horizon

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Good news: The worst of the chip supply crunch might be near.

The other side: Here's the bad news... CEOs say chips totally flowing like normal is still a ways out.