The FTX brouhaha continues and this time, unsurprisingly, millions of dollars in cash and assets belonging to the crypto exchange’s former big boss has been confiscated by United States authorities.
Federal authorities have seized $150 million in assets related to FTX co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, a large chunk of which comes in the form of Robinhood stock, a court filing revealed Friday.
Stocks, cash, and other assets totaling almost $700 million have now been seized by U.S. officials in connection with the ongoing probe.
The U.S. Department of Justice disclosed the confiscation of Robinhood shares earlier this month, but on Friday it presented a more comprehensive list of sequestered assets, including cash held at several banks and assets placed at the cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
FTX former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. Image: Euromoney
New FTX CEO Has His Hands Full
John Ray, who replaced Bankman-Fried as CEO to oversee FTX’s rehabilitation, is attempting to recover the funds that the cryptocurrency exchange’s depositors lost when the company collapsed in November.
In December of last year, Bankman-Fried was charged with eight charges of money laundering and fraud, to which he pled not guilty. Two of his sidekicks at FTX have pled guilty to fraud charges and are collaborating with federal authorities.
FTX CEO John Ray. Image: New York Post
In addition, prosecutors seized almost $6 million in assets from Silvergate Bank accounts and another $50 million from a Moonstone Bank account. Undisclosed amounts were seized from Binance and Binance.US accounts, court documents reveal.
The ownership of the seized Robinhood shares, estimated at around $525 million, has been contested by Bankman-Fried, FTX, and the insolvent cryptocurrency lender BlockFi.
SBF Anonymous Bail Donors
In December, Bankman-Fried was arrested on fraud charges and released on a $250 million bond pending trial. He has denied embezzlement of customer assets.
A subsequent Insider report indicated that two unnamed individuals raised approximately $700,000 for SBF’s bail bond. One individual offered $200,000, while the other secured $500,000 in funding.
The court withheld these persons’ names when SBF’s attorneys expressed fears for their safety.
Bankman-Fried said in a recent blog post that he had “offered to donate nearly all of my personal Robinhood shares to customers.”
Crypto total market cap at $991 billion on the daily chart | Chart: TradingView.com
Federal authorities claim that the shares in Robinhood were purchased with consumer cash that were stolen.
In May 2022, SBF acquired 7.8% of the company through the purchase of shares in the financial platform. Moreover, he was the sole owner and director of the stock acquired through Emergent Fidelity Technologies.
Meanwhile, the DOJ has launched an inquiry into the disappearance of $370 million in FTX assets hours after the exchange filed for bankruptcy.
Featured image from Bigger Pie Forum