FTX Asks Politicians Who Received Bankman-Fried Donations to Return Money

The “confidential letters” escalate a fight over what could be $93 million in campaign contributions.

AccessTimeIconFeb 5, 2023 at 6:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 6, 2023 at 3:51 p.m. UTC

Sam Bankman-Fried showered politicians with tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions before his FTX empire imploded in November. Now, the bankrupt crypto exchange wants that money back.

On Sunday, FTX Group said it is sending “confidential letters” to politicians and other political beneficiaries of Bankman-Fried, his deputies and his companies, asking them to return the money by the end of the month. In a press release the debtors said they “reserve the right” to try and force repayments – plus interest – through court action.

The announcement escalates a fight over as much as $93 million (according to the debtors' estimates) in political donations FTX made to an array of Washington, D.C., lawmakers and causes across the political spectrum. One in three members of the current Congress received contributions from Bankman-Fried’s orbit, according to CoinDesk reporting. It was a monumental influence campaign that crossed party lines.

With FTX’s top brass now facing an array of criminal charges over their alleged multibillion-dollar fraud, many of their beneficiaries have tried to cancel out the taint of scandal by making equivalent donations to charities. But the debtors now charged with recouping creditors’ losses warned such action “does not prevent the FTX Debtors from seeking recovery.”


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Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.