IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Sam Bankman-Fried in Hong Kong
FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried in Hong Kong on May 11, 2021.Lam Yik / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

FTX asks politicians who received crypto-cash: Give it back

The cryptocurrency exchange's debtors raised the idea of going after money from candidates who donated it to charity, too.


FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that's facing bankruptcy amid allegations of fraud by its top executives, has a message for politicians and groups who received political donations from those executives or the company's political action committee: Give it back.

The company and its debtors made the ask in a statement Sunday, setting a Feb. 28 deadline to return the cash. The statement goes on to say the "debtors reserve the right to commence actions before the Bankruptcy Court to require the return of such payments, with interest," and that politicians who gave their donations to charity may not be off the hook.

The question of what to do with FTX-linked money dominated the political conversation late last year, when the Justice Department charged disgraced FTX CEO Samuel Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives with a slew of charges including fraud.

Federal campaign finance data show Bankman-Fried was one of the most prolific Democratic donors in the 2022 election cycle, and he said he gave a similar amount in dark-money donations to Republican groups too. Another FTX executive, Ryan Salame, gave millions to Republican causes too.

Twenty-five politicians who received FTX-linked cash told NBC News in December that they would give the money to charity. Just three said they'd either return the money or hold it for a victim restitution fund or until hearing from federal investigators about what to do next.