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Semafor under fire for not returning investment by FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried

Semafor, a information website launched final month after getting a big infusion of money from disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, has come under fire for staying mum about whether or not it can return the now-bankrupt crypto agency’s money.

Bankman-Fried was reportedly an preliminary investor within the $25 million raised by Semafor’s founders — former Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith and former New York Times media columnist and Buzzfeed editor in chief Ben Smith.

After FTX imploded and filed for chapter this month, there have been calls for Semafor to return the money.

Semafor has not addressed the difficulty, stating to blogger Mickey Klaus that it’s “monitoring the evolving situation closely.”

In his weblog put up entitled “Send it Back Ben,” Klaus wrote: “That’s nice, but actually, I wasn’t worried that Semafor wouldn’t be able to hold on to its Bankman bucks. The question more is: Will Semafor give the money back?”

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief govt officer of FTX, invested in a slew of media corporations, together with Semafor.
Bloomberg by way of Getty Images

He continued that “legally” the difficulty is murky, however that “morally,” it appears “open and shut.”

“Maybe Bankman-Fried wasn’t a felon…..but the stench of sleaze and scamming is unmistakable and familiar,” he wrote.

A Semafor rep did not return The Post’s request for remark.

Semafor’s credibility additionally got here into question after it printed an article about Bankman-Fried’s relationship with Elon Musk, claiming that the crypto CEO owned $100 million in Twitter since Musk took the company private.

Ben Smith
Ben Smith’s Semafor printed a bit on Elon Musk’s ties to Sam Bankman-Fried, which was slammed by the Twitter CEO as a “lie.”
Getty Images

Musk denied the report and referred to as out Ben Smith for failing to reveal how a lot Bankman-Fried, generally known as SBF, invested in his company.

“As I said, neither I nor Twitter have taken any investment from SBF/FTX. Your article is a lie. Now, I’m asking again, how much of you does SBF own?” Musk tweeted Wednesday.

Ben Smith replied: “Like you and many others, we took an investment from him. We have covered him aggressively, and disclose it every time we write about him.”

At launch in October, Semafor instructed Reuters that it “raised $25 million from investors including David Bradley, owner of The Atlantic magazine; Jessica Lessin, founder of technology website Information; and cryptocurrency exchange FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.”

As FTX unspooled, Bankman-Fried’s investments in different media corporations like ProPublica, Vox Media, The Intercept and The Law and Justice Project had been revealed, leaving critics to question whether or not his money impacted their coverage.

“They all took it,” Human Events Daily’s Jack Posobiec wrote on Twitter, “and none of them broke the story.”

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