If found guilty of fraud, disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) will forfeit roughly $700 million in assets.
U.S. federal prosecutor Damian Williams explained in a court document filed on Jan 20 that the “government respectfully gives notice that the property subject to forfeiture” includes fiat, shares, and cryptocurrency.
A majority of the assets were seized by the government between Jan. 4 and Jan. 19, and the government is also claiming “all monies and assets” associated with three separate Binance accounts.
At the time of writing, 55,273,469 Robinhood (HOOD) shares worth roughly $525.5 million were the largest allocation of seized assets. Silvergate Bank held $94.5 million, Farmington State Bank held $49.9 million, and ED&F Man Capital Markets, Inc. held $20.7 million. As the government alleges that these assets were acquired unlawfully with customer deposits, a forfeiture order has been submitted in this case.
Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, two members of SBF’s inner circle, have confessed to their roles in FTX’s collapse, but the man himself has pleaded not guilty to all eight charges.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Jan. 18, the exchange released poorly aged marketing in Africa before going bankrupt in November.
During the campaign, USD-pegged stablecoins were promoted as safer investments than local currencies regarding inflation, and staking rewards could yield 8% a year.
Although African currencies such as the Nigerian naira and Ghanaian cedi have plummeted against the USD, any African FTX customer persuaded by the marketing went on to lose funds when the company went bankrupt.
Pius Okedinachi, the former FTX education lead for Africa, told the WSJ that the exchange handled around $500 million worth of trades in Africa each month, mostly from Nigeria.
On Nov. 3, SBF tweeted that FTX had begun accepting West African CFA franc deposits just eight days before FTX filed for bankruptcy.Caroline Ellison