ProPublica to Return $1.6 Million in Funds to Sam Bankman-Fried’s Foundation

Sam Bankman-Fried's family foundation was slated to give ProPublica $5 million over three years.

Sam Bankman-Fried speaks at a microphone
Sam Bankman-Fried donated to many media outlets including ProPublica. CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news site, will return $1.6 million in funds to Sam Bankman-Fried’s family foundation, reported Axios.

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“It does not seem appropriate to keep these funds,” ProPublica co-CEOs Robin Sparkman and Stephen Engelberg said in a company memo, according to Axios.

Last month, Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy after allegedly misusing customer funds. He is charged with multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy, as well as defrauding investors.

ProPublica isn’t the only media company that accepted payments from Building a Stronger Future, Bankman-Fried’s family foundation. Vox Media, the Intercept and Semafor also accepted funds. Vox says it will return most of the money, CNN reported.

The $1.6 million grant was the first of three ProPublica was slated to receive from Building a Stronger Future. The payments were intended to support investigations into “the COVID-19 pandemic, biosecurity and public health preparedness,” ProPublica said. The two other payments have been terminated, but ProPublica will continue these investigations, Axios reported.

ProPublica to Return $1.6 Million in Funds to Sam Bankman-Fried’s Foundation