Media startup Semafor plans buyout of Sam Bankman-Fried’s investment, NYT reports

Jan 18 (Reuters) – Semafor is planning to buy out FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s roughly $10 million investment in the news startup, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing the company’s chief executive officer.

“We are planning to repurchase Sam Bankman-Fried’s interest in Semafor and to place the money into a separate account until the relevant legal authorities provide guidance as to where the money should be returned,” said Semafor’s CEO Justin Smith, according to the NYT report.

The news outlet did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The U.S. Department of Justice accused Bankman-Fried of causing billions of dollars of losses related to FTX, which a U.S. prosecutor called a “fraud of epic proportions.”

Bankman-Fried founded FTX in 2019 and rode a boom in the values of bitcoin and other digital assets to become a billionaire several times over as well as an influential donor to U.S. political campaigns.

In December, non-profit investigative news outlet ProPublica said, in a staff memo, it will return $1.6 million it received from Bankman-Fried’s family foundation.

Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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