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Stanford University to Return $5.5 Million in Donations from Defunct FTX Amidst Legal Controversy

Stanford University decides to return all donations from the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX amidst allegations and lawsuits.

Thu, 21 Sep 2023, 03:45 am UTC

Stanford University, situated in California, recently announced its intentions to give back all monetary gifts it had received from FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that has since ceased operations. Bloomberg was the first to break this news.

Between November 2021 and May 2022, Stanford acknowledged receiving approximately $5.5 million from entities affiliated with FTX. The University, through its spokesperson, confirmed on September 19 that they are in talks with lawyers representing FTX's creditors about recouping these donations. The institution has committed to returning every dollar.

The funds were primarily donated by the FTX Foundation and associated companies, mainly earmarked for research and measures to combat the pandemic, according to Stanford's clarification.

Notably, Alan Bankman and Barbara Fried, parents of FTX's previous CEO, Sam "SBF" Bankman-Fried, have both served as professors at Stanford Law School.

In a fresh twist, these donations have become a focal point due to allegations against SBF's parents. They are facing accusations of siphoning off millions from FTX. As a result, on September 18, FTX's creditors filed a legal suit against the couple. Court records indicate that the pair allegedly misused their roles in the exchange, enriching themselves by millions. Alan Bankman is particularly accused of acting as a de facto officer for the FTX Group.

In another revelation, court filings suggest Alan Bankman sought Barbara Fried's counsel on salary expectations, expressing dissatisfaction with his $200,000 annual compensation and anticipating a figure closer to $1 million. This grievance wasn't addressed by either SBF or the US arm of FTX.

In a related event on September 19, legal representatives of SBF made a case before a tribunal of three judges, pushing for his early release from custody. They hope this will afford him adequate time to gear up for his trial set to commence next month.

However, a judge voiced skepticism over the defense's First Amendment rights argument, citing SBF's alleged attempt to threaten a previous CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison.

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