Federal prosecutors have seized $697 million in assets, mostly comprised of more than 56 million Robinhood shares worth $526 million, from FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Court filings detailed that the U.S. government seized a series of bank accounts belonging to Bankman-Fried, holding millions in cash.
US Government Seizes Millions in Cash and Robinhood Shares From FTX Co-Founder; SBF Denies Misappropriation of Customer Assets
The U.S. government has seized nearly $700 million from the former FTX CEO and co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), according to court documents reviewed by CNBC. Most of the funds came from the 56,273,269 shares of Robinhood Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: HOOD) owned by Bankman-Fried. Using exchange rates from Jan. 20, 2023, the Hood shares are worth more than $526 million.
Furthermore, CNBC reporters Rohan Goswami and MacKenzie Sigalos detail that nearly $56 million held in four bank accounts was seized as well. Three accounts holding $6 million were allegedly held at Silvergate Bank and one account reportedly held at Moonstone Bank held $50 million. In total, $171 million in cash was taken by the federal government from Bankman-Fried. Moonstone Bank explained on Jan. 19, 2023, that the financial institution will officially be exiting the crypto space.
Alameda Research invested $11.5 million into Moonstone Bank, also known as Farmington State Bank, through FBH, Moonstone’s holding company. Federal prosecutors believe the $697 million in assets, mostly made up of Robinhood shares, were acquired using funds stolen from FTX customers. Bankman-Fried maintains his innocence and has “denied misappropriating customer assets,” Sigalos explained on Friday.
Additionally, federal agents also seized funds that belonged to SBF that were held on the crypto exchanges Binance and Binance US. The U.S. government revealed intentions to seize the Robinhood shares during the first week of January 2023, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated the process.
Bankman-Fried attempted to regain access to the shares, noting that he needed the money to pay for legal expenses. The U.S. government can seize funds from citizens suspected of wrongdoing without necessarily charging them with a crime and from charged suspects awaiting trial. Federal prosecutors do not believe the assets seized are the property in the bankruptcy estate.
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