FTX Seeks to Recall Sam Bankman-Fried’s Charitable Contributions

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Last Updated on January 8, 2023 by Bitfinsider

The crypto exchange and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried made millions of dollars in donations, which FTX’s new management is attempting to recoup.

At the end of September, FTX’s charitable arm Future Fund, had given more than $160 million to more than 110 nonprofit organizations, including biotech startups, academic researchers, organizations in India, China, and Brazil, as well as researchers developing Covid-19 vaccines and conducting pandemic research.

According to the report, Future Fund gave AVECRIS, a startup developing a genetic vaccination platform, $3.6 million, while Atlas Fellowship received $5 million for scholarships and high-school summer programs in San Francisco.

A representative for Bankman-Fried said that trading gains, not customer deposits, were used to fund charity gifts.

The charity arm was introduced in February 2022 with plans to raise up to $1 billion in donations and spend more than $100 million in its first year.

Donations were maintained despite the drop in cryptocurrency prices. On September 23, Future Fund announced on Twitter that “a substantial fraction” of funding would be used for studies and projects focusing on risk management for Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), with prizes totaling up to $1.5 million. There were also rewards of up to $2,000 for those who “best critiqued our views” on the future of artificial intelligence.

Source: Twitter

Prosecutors in the United States are also looking into FTX’s contributions to political parties and candidates. With contributions totaling $5.2 million, Bankman-Fried was the second-largest “CEO contributor” to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.

Clawback provisions might compel companies and investors to refund billions of dollars spent in the months before the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange. According to FTX’s new management, “a number of recipients of contributions or other payments” have contacted the business to request a refund of the money.

On January 4, Bankman-Fried entered a not guilty plea to all criminal allegations against him that are connected to the demise of the cryptocurrency exchange, including wire fraud, securities fraud, and violations of campaign financing laws. He has been under house arrest at his parents’ California home since December 22.

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