The exchange has warned those who received payments from FTX or its former executives that it wants the money, even if it was donated to charity.
Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX plans to pursue legal avenues to recover all payments and contributions made by its affiliates and former executives, which could include millions in political donations from its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
In a Dec. 19 press release, FTX said it had already “been approached by a number of recipients of contributions or other payments” made by or at the direction of Sam Bankman-Fried or other executives. , adding that these companies had sought “instructions for the return of these funds.
Just last week, three prominent Democratic organizations pledged to return more than $1 million in political donations to Bankman-Fried following his arrest and indictment.
A few days earlier, on December 13, a White House press secretary declined to answer when asked if the Biden administration would return the $5.2 million in campaign contributions previously made by Bankman-Fried. .
In its latest statement, FTX urged those who received funds to “arrange for the return of these payments,” warning that the exchange would take legal action to recover the payments with interest if they are not returned. voluntarily.
Stay safe in Web3. Learn more about Web3 Antivirus →
Legal experts previously warned that political donations from FTX, worth up to $73 million, could be used to pay off the alleged one million creditors who owe between $10 billion and $50 billion in bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, some members of the US Congress who receive FTX’s political donations have reportedly donated the funds to charity to distance themselves from the exchange and its founder.
Members of Congress such as Democratic House Speaker-elect Hakeem Jeffries and Democratic Senate Speaker Dick Durbin have reportedly donated funds received from FTX to various charities.
Republican Senator John Hoeven also donated the $11,600 he received from Bankman-Fried and FTX Digital Markets co-CEO RyanSalame to the Salvation Army.
However, FTX said these charitable deposits would not be enough to prevent it from recovering the funds, stating:
“A payment or donation to a third party (including a charity) […] will not prevent FTX Debtors from seeking recovery.”
Bankman-Fried was the Democratic Party’s second-largest contributor in the 2022 midterm elections, with $36.8 million funneled to candidates. He also earmarked $5.2 million for Joe Biden’s 2020 U.S. presidential campaign, becoming his second-biggest “CEO donor.”
The FTX founder claimed in a Nov. 16 interview with crypto vlogger Tiffany Fong that he “gave about the same amount to both parties,” but his donations to Republicans were “obscure.”
See also: Sam Bankman-Fried agrees to extradition to US ‘to put clients right’: report
Other FTX executives like Salame have donated about $20 million to Republican candidates, with CTO Nishad Singh donating at least $500,000 to Democrats in Oregon.
On December 13, Bankman-Fried was charged with violating campaign finance laws, including violating donations, obstructing the duties of the Federal Election Commission, and making donations on behalf of from others.