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ProPublica news site to return grant from FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried

Other major news outlets, such as Vox, The Intercept and Semafor, have all received money from Bankman-Fried.

Published: December 21, 2022 2:55am

Updated: December 21, 2022 8:08am

Nonprofit investigative news outlet ProPublica announced plans to return a $1.6 million grant from former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried's foundation as he faces multiple charges related to fraud.

The grant from Bankman-Fried's Building a Stronger Future foundation was supposed to be a three-year grant worth a total of $5 million. ProPublica said Tuesday it returned the initial $1.6 million and terminated its relationship with the foundation. 

ProPublica received the grant in February and used it to create an international team to report about COVID-19 and other possible future outbreaks. The news agency said it plans on using other resources to support the pandemic team.

Other major news outlets, such as Vox, The Intercept and Semafor, have all received money from Bankman-Fried, Axios reported.

Semafor CEO Justin Smith said earlier this month that Bankman-Fried "has no influence over our editorial coverage or operations" and the outlet plans on allowing the government to "decide how to best handle" the former FTX CEO's investment.

Bankman-Fried agreed Monday to be extradited to the United States from the Bahamas to face eight criminal charges connected to the collapse of FTX, a cryptocurrency company that was valued at $32 billion earlier this year before declaring bankruptcy last month.

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