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Stanford to return millions in crypto donations from FTX

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The California-based university Stanford University said it plans to return all funds it received from the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to a report from Bloomberg. 

Stanford received a total of $5.5 million in gifts from FTX-related entities in the timespan between November 2021 and May 2022. In an email statement on Sept. 19, a university spokesperson said:

“We have been in discussions with attorneys for the FTX debtors to recover these gifts and we will be returning the funds in their entirety.”

The statement from Stanford clarified that it “received gifts from the FTX Foundation and FTX-related companies largely for pandemic-related prevention and research.”

Both parents of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), Allan Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, are legal scholars who have taught at Stanford’s law school. 

Stanford’s renouncement of the monetary support from FTX comes as SBF’s parents are accused of stealing millions from the crypto exchange.

FTX debtors launched a lawsuit on Sept. 18 against the two, alleging they misappropriated funds via their involvement with the exchange to, “enrich themselves, directly and indirectly, by millions of dollars,” according to the court papers. Bankman has been alleged to have been a “de facto officer” at FTX Group.

Related: FTX bolsters claims portal security measures following cyber breach

Court documents from these latest accusations claim that Bankman included Fried, when he raised concerns regarding his annual salary of $200,000 that were not addressed by SBF or FTX US. 

According to the documents, Bankman was expecting an annual salary of $1 million. 

On Sept. 19, SBF’s lawyers argued in front of a three-judge panel for early release from jail in order to prepare for his upcoming trial scheduled to begin in October.

One of the judges in the hearing reportedly said the argument played by SBF’s legal team regarding his First Amendment rights “has no play anymore” due to his attempts to intimidate witness and former CEO of Alameda Research Caroline Ellison.

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