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Metropolitan Museum of Art to Refund $550K in Donations from FTX

Metropolitan Museum of Art to Refund $550K in Donations from FTX

Source: AdobeStock / Rawf8

The New York-based Metropolitan Museum of Art will return more than half a million dollars in donations it received from the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX.

The popular US museum, known as the Met, is set to refund $550,000 to FTX debtors, according to a filing to the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. 

The filing states that,

“The Met wishes to return the Donations to the FTX Debtors, and the FTX Debtors and the Met have engaged in good faith, arm’s length negotiations concerning the return of the Donations.” 

The donations were given in 2022, prior to the FTX collapse in November. The Met received $300,000 in March and $250,000 in May.

Both installments were facilitated by the FTX.US operator, the company called West Realm Shires Services.

The debtors argued that the terms of the proposed stipulation “fall well within the range of reasonableness” and should be approved by the court.  

They said that,

“The Stipulation provides the Debtors’ estates and their stakeholders with a recovery of 100% of the Donations, without litigation and the significant costs attendant thereto.” 

In return, the filing said, the two parties would receive mutual releases of any and all claims related to the donations. 

Finally, the debtors argued that this was the best course of action for them and the Met, writing that,

“Given that the agreement in the Stipulation for the Met to return the full amount of the Donations to the Debtors without the need for litigation and the incurrence of costs associated therewith, the Debtors have determined that entry into the Stipulation is in the best interests of the Debtors’ estates.”

Millions Given Away

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the new leadership of FTX has been trying to recuperate as much of the donated funds as possible since December last year, following the exchange’s fall a month prior. 

But this is no easy task. FTX and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried made donations to politicians, celebrities, and reportedly various charities. 

In October 2022, the FTX Foundation, set up by Bankman-Fried, reported that it had given away $140 million. 

After FTX collapsed, the US Justice Department alleged that the donations were a result of criminal money laundering and that payments violated campaign finance rules.

The political donations made at the direction of Bankman-Fried reportedly amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.

It was also said that the former FTX boss donated some $5.2 million to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and well over $40 million to other Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm election.

By March 2023, the funds returned to the bankrupt exchange made up just 2.2% – or $1 million – of the money Bankman-Fried donated to political candidates from the Democratic Party. 

Of the $1 million, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) said it would return $850,000 to FTX.

You can read more about the case below.


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