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FTX orders Mississippi congressmen to return political donations

Photo from FTX/Twitter

Three Mississippi congressmen have been asked to return donated funds to FTX months after the cryptocurrency exchange company filed for bankruptcy.

Prior to FTX’s collapse in November, the crypto company’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried had donated millions to campaigns during last year’s midterm election cycle, along with Ryan Salame and Nishad Singh. So far, an estimated 196 members of Congress have been identified as recipients of FTX funding, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Now, FTX’s Debtors are seeking to repay creditors $9 billion in total liabilities, with the current amount of recovered funds totaling $5 billion from cash and liquid cryptocurrency.

As stated in a press release from FTX Debtors, the company has sent “confidential messages to political figures, political action funds, and other recipients of contributions or other payments that were made by or at the direction of the FTX Debtors, Samuel Bankman-Fried, or other officers or principals of the FTX Debtors.”

Salame, who was co-chief executive officer at FTX and a Republican mega-donor, was reported to have donated funds to the congressional campaigns of Republican Representatives Trent Kelly and Michael Guest in 2022. FTX Director of Engineering, Nishad Singh, was also said to have given to Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson.

Out of the funding awarded to the congressmen, Kelly’s campaign team has released that he has already returned or plans to return the money to FTX, while Thompson’s was recorded to have been donated. Guest has not yet stated if the allocated funds have been spent, donated, or returned at this time.

In addition, Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency trading firm also founded by Bankman-Fried, is said to have donated nearly $10,000 in funding to the Mississippi Democratic Party.

Each recipient will be required to return the funds to FTX Debtors by the end of the month, as the company states that it “reserves the right to commence actions before the Bankruptcy Court to require the return of such payments, with interest accruing from the date any action is commenced.”

FTX Debtors added in the release that donating the funds to a third party does not prevent the company from seeking to recover the funds.

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