FTX pledged $600,000 to an anti-racist non-profit, but the money never arrived and Sam Bankman-Fried's father wrote to apologize




The logo of FTX is seen on the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.Marco Bello/Reuters
The logo of FTX is seen on the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.Marco Bello/Reuters  
  • Sam Bankman-Fried's father offered anti-racist program EAT $600,000 on behalf of FTX.

  • But the money never arrived after the firm went bankrupt.

  • SBF's father told the charity he was "heartbroken," but was spending his money on his son's defense.

FTX promised a Chicago-based non-profit $600,000 but the money never arrived after the company's charitable arm lost its funds and its staff resigned, the New York Times reported.

Sam Bankman-Fried's father, Joseph Bankman, recommended programs that help close the racial wealth gap that he thought FTX should donate to.

One such organization was Chicago-based Equity and Transformation, shortened to EAT. It works to dismantle racism and give a voice to former prisoners and "informal workers," which includes sex workers and people selling bootleg DVDs.

Bankman sent an email to Richard Wallace, EAT's founder, offering to make a donation on behalf of FTX. The crypto exchange then pledged to give the non-profit $600,000, and the news was tweeted by think tank members after a consulting firm hired by FTX urged them to praise the program.

But when FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11, Bankman wrote to Wallace to express his sadness that the money wouldn't come through.

The crypto exchange's charitable arm, FTX Foundation, had no funds and its staff had all resigned.

Bankman, a law professor at Stanford University, told Wallace he would have funded half the $600,000 himself if FTX had been able to contribute the other half.

He said he couldn't donate the whole sum himself because: "I'll be spending substantially all of my resources on Sam's defense."

Reuters reported that Bankman-Fried's parents were signatories on a luxury house with beach access in a Bahamas gated community, which documents said was a "vacation home." A spokesperson for the couple said that they had been trying to return the property to FTX.

After the New York Times report was published on Tuesday, Wallace tweeted: "The billionaire class has often used the trauma & inequities in Black communities in order to build power and influence by leveraging their resources in the form of grants and donations."

"Those grants and donations are never large enough to address the actual causes of the inequities, but the grants give them the social capital," he added.

Bankman, Wallace, and FTX did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

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