FTX calls for return of political donations from Sam Bankman-Fried
Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of FTX, donated more than $40 million to primarily Democratic lawmakers and groups during the 2022 election cycle.
FTX wants that money repaid by Feb. 28, warning recipients that donating to a third-party charity “does not preclude FTX debtors from seeking collection from the recipient or any subsequent assignee.”
“To the extent such payments are not voluntarily returned, the FTX debtors reserve the right to bring actions in bankruptcy court to demand the return of such payments, with interest accrued from the date on which any action is taken,” FTX wrote in a press release. on Sunday.
Some recipients have already returned the donations or announced their intention to return the funds.
Officials from the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in December they would set aside Bankman-Fried’s contributions pending government advice on how to return the donations. .
Former Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke’s campaign returned a $1 million check from Bankman-Fried a week before FTX filed for bankruptcy, according to the Texas Tribune.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre cited the Hatch Act in declining to say whether President Biden would return Bankman-Fried’s donations.
Bankman-Fried also donated about $262,200 to Republican candidates.
Ryan Salame, co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, reportedly donated $20 million to Republicans in the 2022 election cycle.
Bankman-Fried was arrested in December in the Bahamas and extradited to the United States, where he faces a slew of charges, including campaign finance violations, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud in securities, conspiracy to launder money and other counts.
He was released on $250 million bail at the end of December.