Crypto exchange FTX has begun efforts to recover funds paid as political donations as part of its bankruptcy proceedings in the US. The donations, made under the management of the exchange's founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, reportedly amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. The collapsing exchange, now managed by John J. Ray III, has shared an email address for recipients to request the return of donated funds in a statement, saying, "FTX intends to file a claim in bankruptcy court to seek the return of such payments, including interest accruing from the date of the transactions." In its statement, FTX also warned recipients that "it has been made clear to buyers that a payment made by an FTX donor to a third party (including a charity) or a donation made by an FTX donor will not prevent FTX debtors from seeking repayment from the buyer or any subsequent transferee." Donations made by FTX and Bankman-Fried have generally been made to politicians, well-known individuals, and various charities.
Bankman-Fried has also shown particular interest in projects aimed at preventing and reducing climate change and future pandemics.
He is also known to have been one of the largest donors to President Joe Biden's 2020 election campaign organization. There have also been reports of Bankman-Fried making significant, secret donations to Republican political candidates.
In an interview with crypto analyst Tiffany Fong, Bankman-Fried said, "I donated to both parties. The amount I donated to both parties was the same." He added that all of his donations to Republicans were "secret." Speaking about his political donations at the time, Bankman-Fried said, "When you donate to Republicans, reporters go crazy. They make it a big deal. When you donate to Democrats, it's not a big deal."