FTX opposes new bankruptcy investigation as it probes Bankman-Fried connections

ZURICH/LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – FTX has objected to a U.S. Department of Justice request for an unbiased investigation into the once-prominent crypto change’s collapse, saying it is already conducting a wide-ranging probe that features members of the family of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
FTX stated in a courtroom submitting in Wilmington, Delaware, late on Wednesday that the DOJ’s proposed assessment would solely add price and delay to its bankruptcy case. FTX acknowledged “fraud, dishonesty, incompetence, misconduct, mismanagement, and irregularity” in its previous conduct, however stated that its earlier wrongdoing is already being probed by the corporate’s new administration, its collectors and legislation enforcement businesses.

As a part of its personal investigation, FTX requested U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey, who’s overseeing its Chapter 11 proceedings, to assist it safe paperwork from Bankman-Fried, members of his household and different insiders with details about FTX transactions that used “misappropriated and stolen” funds. These transactions, it stated, embrace a $16.7 million Bahamian actual property buy below the identify of Bankman-Fried’s mother and father, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.

FTX can also be searching for details about political donations linked to Bankman-Fried, asking wide-ranging questions on Mind the Gap, a political motion committee based by Barbara Fried, and Guarding Against Pandemics, an advocacy group based by Sam Bankman-Fried and his brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried. FTX stated Guarding Against Pandemics’ multimillion-dollar Washington, D.C., headquarters was bought with misappropriated funds.

Bankman-Fried and members of his household couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

A spokesperson for Mind the Gap stated it didn’t obtain direct contributions from Sam Bankman-Fried, though Bankman-Fried made donations to some political causes it really useful to its donor community.

FTX, as soon as among the many world’s prime crypto exchanges, shook the sector in November by submitting for bankruptcy, leaving an estimated 9 million prospects and different buyers going through complete losses within the billions of {dollars}.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s bankruptcy watchdog has referred to as for an unbiased investigation into its collapse, a request that obtained backing from a bipartisan group of U.S. senators.

FTX’s new CEO, John Ray, who labored with court-appointed examiners whereas main Enron Corp and Residential Capital by way of bankruptcy, is ready to testify that examiners in these two circumstances price a mixed $150 million and offered “minimal” advantages to collectors, FTX stated.

FTX’s official committee of collectors joined the corporate in opposing the appointment of an examiner.

FTX additionally on Wednesday evening filed a new record of collectors in bankruptcy courtroom, which included monetary watchdogs and authorities businesses from the United States, Japan and Switzerland, as properly as corporations together with Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O) and crypto large Binance.

Airbnb and Binance didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are amongst these on the new record of collectors. It didn’t give particulars of the character or quantity of monies owed.

FTX stated on Thursday that the record was meant to make sure the broadest potential outreach to potential stakeholders in its bankruptcy, and that FTX doesn’t essentially owe cash to every identify on the creditor record.

FTX stated final yr it owed its 50 greatest collectors almost $3.1 billion. Dorsey in January allowed FTX to maintain secret the names of 9 million of its particular person prospects for 3 months.

Sam Bankman-Fried, who has been accused of stealing billions of {dollars} from FTX prospects to pay money owed incurred by his crypto-focused hedge fund, has pleaded not responsible to fraud prices. He is scheduled to face trial in October.

Reporting by Noele Illien in Zurich, Tom Wilson in London and Dietrich Knauth in New York
Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Alexia Garamfalvi and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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