FTX Seeks to Recover $71M From Its Philanthropic and Life Science Arms

The firms funneled corporate funds to other organizations on behalf of their founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s "personal aggrandizement," a court filing shows.

AccessTimeIconJul 20, 2023 at 7:04 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 20, 2023 at 7:35 p.m. UTC
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Defunct crypto exchange FTX and its sister firm Alameda want to retrieve more than $71 million from FTX's philanthropic arm and other life science entities, according to court documents filed on Wednesday.

This is the latest move by the bankrupt firm to recover funds for its customers. Last month, Alameda's lawyers sought the recover $700 million FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared to have paid to forge connections with celebrities and politicians. This month, FTX also asked the court to take back $323 million from the leadership team of the exchange's european arm.

The FTX Foundation, in tandem with Latona, took roughly $71.5 million from FTX and Alameda Research "to make investments in and donations to life sciences companies for Bankman-Fried’s personal aggrandizement," lawyers argued.

They made the transfers to life science companies like Lumen Bioscience Inc. and Platform Life Sciences Inc. under the guise of effective altruism, a philosophy espousing the transfer of wealth from affluent individuals to those in financial need, the filing shows. But, helping the less fortunate wasn't the charitable arms true purpose, the firms' lawyers said.

"While purporting to make these investments for altruistic purposes (i.e., pandemic prevention and preparedness), Bankman-Fried in fact pursued these transactions because he believed that doing so would generate goodwill and amass political capital and influence for himself," the lawyers said in the filing.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art had also agreed to return $550,000 in donations it received from FTX.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Elizabeth Napolitano

Elizabeth Napolitano was a news reporter at CoinDesk.

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