Stanford University has found itself at the epicenter of a scandal that has rocked the elite university. The father of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, and his wife were accused of using their position in the company to transfer millions of dollars to their public employer. This was done through the FTX Foundation and related companies. The funds were to be used primarily for pandemic-related research. However, what appears to be a generous donation has become a high-profile conflict of interest.
Millions from FTX used for their own ends
The accusations against Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, both professors at Stanford University, are serious. It is alleged that they used their influence at FTX for personal gain, transferring large sums of money to various entities, including family and friends.
According to reports, Joseph Bankman transferred more than $5.5 million from the FTX Group to Stanford University between November 2021 and May 2022. What is even more astonishing is that these “gifts” did not benefit the FTX Group itself. Instead, they became an outright conflict of interest, where Bankman sought to benefit himself.
Documents that have come to light have revealed a complicated mechanism for transferring funds to Stanford University. In one instance, in November 2021, Bankman used Paper Bird to donate $500,000 to the university. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Numerous grant proposals
Subsequent submissions included a suggestion to donate as much as $4 million from the FTX Foundation to Stanford University. Bankman stressed the need for a formal discussion of the issue, noting that the investment would have a positive impact on the facility.
In March 2022, there was another proposal, this time of $1.5 million. It came directly from Bankman. This has caused even more controversy, as Bankman appears to be using various tactics to hide the source of this money.
Is Sam Bankman-Fried covering for his parents?
Sam Bankman-Fried has publicly distanced himself from the actions of his parents, claiming that they had no significant involvement in FTX’s activities. However, documents seem to show a different picture, revealing their intricate web of deals and arrangements.
The scandal casts a shadow over Stanford University’s reputation, raising questions about ethics and transparency in donations to the university. The institution has pledged to make full restitution, which could be a step toward restoring public trust. In the meantime, the scientific community awaits further developments in this controversial case, which may remain in the spotlight for a long time to come.