$700 Million Heist: US Government Snatches Assets from FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam-Bankman-Fried-FTX scam
Written by Joy Rice

The U.S. government has taken possession of a staggering $697 million worth of assets from FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried. The majority of these assets, over 56 million shares of Robinhood valued at $526 million, have been seized. Court documents reveal that several bank accounts under Bankman-Fried’s name, containing millions in cash, have also been confiscated.

US Government Confiscates $700 Million in Assets from Sam Bankman-Fried, Co-Founder of Controversial FTX Exchange

In a major crackdown, the U.S. government has confiscated a whopping $700 million from former FTX CEO and co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, as per court records obtained by CNBC. The lion’s share of the funds, valued at over $526 million, were derived from the 56,273,269 shares of Robinhood Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: HOOD) owned by Bankman-Fried. The shares were valued using exchange rates from January 20, 2023.

Additionally, as reported by CNBC journalists Rohan Goswami and MacKenzie Sigalos, nearly $56 million held in four bank accounts were also seized. These accounts were allegedly held at Silvergate Bank and Moonstone Bank, with three accounts holding $6 million and one account holding $50 million. In total, the federal government has confiscated $171 million in cash from Bankman-Fried. Moonstone Bank issued a statement on January 19, 2023, regarding the financial seizure.

Additionally, as reported by CNBC journalists Rohan Goswami and MacKenzie Sigalos, the U.S. government has also seized nearly $56 million from four bank accounts held by Sam Bankman-Fried. These accounts, holding $6 million each, were located at Silvergate Bank, and one account, reportedly holding $50 million, was at Moonstone Bank. In total, the federal government has confiscated $171 million in cash from Bankman-Fried. Moonstone Bank announced on January 19, 2023, that it will be officially withdrawing from the cryptocurrency industry.

Alameda Research invested $11.5 million into Moonstone Bank, also known as Farmington State Bank, through FBH, the bank’s holding company. However, the U.S. federal prosecutors suspect that the $697 million in assets, mostly composed of Robinhood shares, were obtained using funds embezzled from FTX customers. Despite the accusations, Bankman-Fried maintains his innocence and has denied any wrongdoing in misappropriating customer assets,” as reported by Sigalos on Friday.

Moreover, federal agents also took possession of funds that belonged to SBF held on the cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Binance US. The U.S. government announced its intention to seize the Robinhood shares during the first week of January 2023, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began the legal proceedings.

Bankman-Fried had made attempts to regain access to the shares, stating that he needed the funds to cover legal expenses. However, it is worth noting that the U.S. government can seize funds from individuals suspected of wrongdoing without necessarily charging them with a crime, or from suspects charged with a crime who are awaiting trial. Federal prosecutors do not consider the assets seized as part of the bankruptcy estate. 

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