• English
  • 简体中文
  • 繁體中文
  • Tiếng Việt
  • ไทย
  • Indonesia

FTX was run as ‘personal fiefdom,’ faces hacks, missing assets -attorneys

Jimmy Khan

Nov 23, 2022 16:03


Attorneys for the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX outlined continuous issues like cyberattacks and sizable missing assets during its first bankruptcy hearing, claiming that it was governed as a "personal fiefdom" of former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

The biggest cryptocurrency scandal to date saw FTX file for protection in the US after users withdrew $6 billion in three days, and rival exchange Binance abandoned a rescue plan. An estimated 1 million creditors are now dealing with losses amounting to billions of dollars as a result of the collapse.

At a bankruptcy court on Tuesday, an attorney for FTX stated that although the company currently plans to sell off healthy business units, it has experienced cyberattacks and "significant" assets have gone missing.

On Saturday, FTX announced that it had started a strategic evaluation of its global assets and was getting ready to sell or reorganize some companies. On Tuesday, FTX announced that it had received interest from possible buyers for certain of its assets and will go through the process of reorganizing or selling them.

A livestream of the proceeding from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, was seen by about 1,500 people on YouTube and Zoom.

A lawyer also claimed that Bankman-Fried had ran the company as his "personal fiefdom," spending $300 million on real estate, including residences and holiday homes for key workers. FTX, which has been run by new CEO John Ray since the bankruptcy filing, has charged Bankman-Fried with collaborating with Bahamian regulators to "undermine" the U.S. bankruptcy case and transfer assets abroad.

An email asking for comment did not receive a prompt response from Bankman-Fried.

According to official property records, Bankman-FTX, Fried's his parents, and senior executives of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange purchased at least 19 homes in the Bahamas for close to $121 million over the last two years, according to a previous story by Reuters.

Additionally, lawyers argued that Binance's July 2021 sale of FTX ought to be the subject of an investigation. In 2019, Binance invested in FTX.

Separately, FTX's cash balance of $1.24 billion as of Sunday was "significantly larger" than previously believed, according to a filing made late on Monday by Ed Mosley of Alvarez & Marsal, a consulting firm that advises FTX.

Along with $172 million at FTX's Japan division, it also contains over $400 million in accounts linked to Bankman-cryptocurrency Fried's trading company Alameda Research.

According to Reuters, Bankman-Fried utilized $10 billion in customer cash in secret to support his trading company, and at least $1 billion of those deposits had disappeared.