US Government Seizes $700 Million in Assets From Disgraced FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried – The U.S government has confiscated approximately $700 million from ex-FTX CEO and co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, as per court papers examined by CNBC. The majority of the funds were from the 56,273,269 shares of Robinhood Markets Inc. owned by Bankman-Fried, which at the exchange rate on January 20, 2023, were valued at over $526 million.
Additionally, CNBC journalists Rohan Goswami and MacKenzie Sigalos reported that the government also seized nearly $56 million from four bank accounts. Three accounts with $6 million were reportedly held at Silvergate Bank and one account at Moonstone Bank held $50 million. This brings the total amount of cash taken by the government from Bankman-Fried to $171 million. Moonstone Bank announced on January 19, 2023 that it will be leaving the cryptocurrency industry.
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. Furthermore, federal authorities also took possession of funds belonging to SBF that were held on the Binance and Binance US cryptocurrency exchanges.
The U.S government announced plans to confiscate the Robinhood shares in early January 2023 and the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated the action. Bankman-Fried attempted to regain control of the shares, stating that he needed the funds to cover legal expenses. The U.S government is able to seize funds from citizens suspected of misconduct without necessarily filing criminal charges against them, and from charged suspects pending trial. Federal prosecutors contend that the assets seized do not belong to the bankruptcy estate.