Stanford University, based in California, has announced its decision to return all funds received from the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX. A report from Bloomberg states that between November 2021 and May 2022, Stanford received a total of $5.5 million in gifts from FTX-related entities. In a statement on September 19, a university spokesperson said that they have been in discussions with FTX debtors’ attorneys to recover the gifts and will be returning the funds in full.
The donations from the FTX Foundation and FTX-related companies were primarily meant for pandemic-related prevention and research, according to the university’s statement. Notably, both parents of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, Allan Joseph Bankman, and Barbara Fried, are legal scholars who have taught at Stanford’s law school.
This decision by Stanford to renounce the monetary support from FTX comes as SBF’s parents are accused of involvement in stealing millions from the crypto exchange. On September 18, FTX debtors filed a lawsuit against the two, alleging that they misappropriated funds to enrich themselves. Court documents also reveal Bankman’s raised concerns about his annual salary of $200,000, which were allegedly not addressed by SBF or FTX US. Bankman was expecting an annual salary of $1 million, as stated in the documents.
On September 19, SBF’s lawyers requested early release from jail to prepare for his upcoming trial, scheduled for October. However, during the hearing, one of the judges noted that SBF’s argument regarding his First Amendment rights “has no play anymore” due to his attempts to intimidate a witness and former CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison.
This decision by Stanford University underscores their commitment to ethical practices and integrity. It is a significant development in the ongoing legal proceedings involving FTX and its key stakeholders.