Left: FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrives at Manhattan Federal Court on March 30, 2023 in New York City (photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images); right: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (photo via Flickr)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will return $550,000 worth of donations to FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that went bankrupt in November, per publicly available court documents first reported on by Coindesk. The defunct company owes around $8 billion to close to a million people. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware will hear the case on June 28.

The Met and FTX’s debtors (the company and its subsidiaries) jointly filed their agreement on Friday, June 2. West Realm Shires Services, the parent company of FTX in the US, gave The Met $300,000 in March of last year and $250,000 in May. The museum did not share a formal statement with Hyperallergic.

The court filing states that the debtors and the museum “engaged in good faith, arm’s length negotiations.” By agreeing on the settlement, 100% of the $550,000 will return to the debtors and the two parties will bypass further litigation.

In addition to his gifts to the museum, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried made millions of dollars worth of donations to politicians on both sides of the aisle, many of whom have pledged to return the gifts. After a bankruptcy, funds can be recouped when a court finds that the fallen company conducted fraud or had fraudulent attempt.

That looks extremely likely, as the legal case against Bankman-Fried alleges that he used customer money to finance losses in FTX’s associated hedge fund Alameda Research in a Ponzi-style scheme. Bankman-Fried has pled not guilty to the host of charges leveled against him: fraud, conspiracy, making illegal campaign contributions, and foreign bribery. Oral arguments in Bankman-Fried’s case begin June 15.

Elaine Velie is a writer from New Hampshire living in Brooklyn. She studied Art History and Russian at Middlebury College and is interested in art's role in history, culture, and politics.