The University of California Berkeley has been forced to tear up its $17.5m deal with FTX as three federal investigations loom over the crypto company.
FTX had agreed a 10-year deal to rename UC Berkeley’s football stadium after the company but that has been cut short just 450 days after the company filed for bankruptcy.
American entrepreneur Samuel Bankman-Fried is said to have ran FTX as a ‘personal fiefdom’ and faces a Department of Justice inquiry, along with investigations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bankman-Fried is facing allegations that he took client funds from FTX and invested them through Alameda Research – another company the 30-year-old Californian controlled.
The FTX stadium naming deal was the company’s first venture into college when announced in August of last year and was paid entirely in crypto.
FTX logos have since been removed from the stadium formerly known as the FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium and it remains to be seen whether a new sponsor will be sought.
As well as Bankman-Fried being named as a defendant, celebrities that directly or indirectly showed endorsement for the project have too. Among those are Gisele Bündchen, Shaquille O’Neal, Larry David and Naomi Osaka.
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