FTX Crisis Continues: $465M Robinhood Shares Seized

The United States Attorney’s Office is currently seizing shares of Robinhood Markets Inc, whose names are associated with Sam Bankman-Fried, as part of its investigation into the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.

The collapse of the exchange has led to SBF being charged with fraud in connection with the crisis.

The Domino Effect

U.S. Attorney Seth Shapiro told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey, who oversees the FTX bankruptcy case, that the Department of Justice did not believe that 56 million shares of Robinhood, which are valued at about $465 million, were the property of a bankruptcy estate.

Shapiro told Reuters that a forfeiture proceeding could be used to resolve competing claims to shares of the app that allows users to trade stocks. In addition to Bankman-Fried, other bankrupt crypto firms, BlockFi, FTX, and liquidators in Antigua have all claimed ownership of Robinhood’s stock, as have liquidators in the island nation.

The government has accused Bankman-Fried of committing a years-long “fraud of epic proportions,” which may have cost investors, customers, and lenders billions of dollars because his Alameda Research hedge fund used customer deposits to support its operations.

A plea of not guilty was entered by Bankman-Fried on counts of wire fraud and conspiracy. Although he admits that FTX failed in risk management, he has said that he does not believe that he is criminally liable for the losses suffered by the company.

An affidavit filed in an Antigua court in December stated that Bankman-Fried purchased approximately 7.42% of Robinhood’s stock through Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd, using funds borrowed from Alameda Research in order to do so.

Moreover, Shapiro confirmed that U.S. prosecutors had seized accounts at U.S. banks associated with its Bahamas-based business, FTX Digital Markets. Approximately $143 million was held in the accounts of Farmington State Bank, which is a subsidiary of Silvergate Bank.

James Bromley, FTX’s attorney, told Dorsey that there had been no information provided to him by any of the companies and entities that are part of the Chapter 11 proceedings about the assets targeted for seizure. As far as he was concerned, there is still an open question regarding the ownership of the Robinhood shares, as the shares are currently in court.

This recent complaint against Robinhood reveals that there has been some sort of domino effect caused by SBF’s wrongdoings. It isn’t clear yet what will happen to anything that he has touched. There is no doubt that the crisis is going to affect a large number of entities in the future.