The stunning downfall of cryptocurrency exchange FTX has left its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, facing grave legal and financial consequences. Once touted as a billionaire, Bankman-Fried’s estimated $16 billion net worth already lies in ruins.
With federal prosecutors looking for fines and restitution, and a guilty verdict potentially subject to appeal, his real estate, luxury items, bank accounts, and cryptocurrency holdings are unlikely to return to their disgraced owner.
In fact, federal prosecutors have already seized nearly $700 million in cash and assets connected to Bankman-Fried. This includes over 50 million shares of Robinhood stock worth approximately $500 million that were beneficially owned by Bankman-Fried but held in accounts under the name of Emergent Fidelity Technologies, one of his affiliate companies.
Judge Kaplan later issued a sale order on August 28, to prevent their value from declining during the legal proceedings. Robinhood has now bought back more than $600 million worth of its own shares that were owned by Bankman-Fried before his arrest.
According to a September 1, 2023, regulatory filing , Robinhood acquired 55 million shares from the U.S. Marshal Service in a deal worth over $605 million.
The same number of shares had been valued at around $450 million when initially seized in January.
Prosecutors have also seized two luxury jets – a Bombardier Global 5000 and an Embraer Legacy 135BJ – purchased by Bankman-Fried and worth over $100 million combined.
These possessions, along with billions in mysterious international wire transfers, are now in government hands as alleged proceeds of crime.
With Bankman-Fried’s recent conviction by a jury on fraud and conspiracy charges, any remaining assets are still at risk. Heavy fines at his sentencing hearing on March 28, 2024, could further decimate any of the disgraced billionaire’s remaining wealth.
Back in November 2022, Bloomberg believed the former crypto mogul’s fortune had completely evaporated just days after FTX filed for bankruptcy. As financial penalties pile up into the hundreds of millions, Bankman-Fried may end up owing far more than he can pay.
Bankman-Fried confronts the looming prospect of a second criminal trial set for March 11, with a slate of five charges hanging over him: bribery conspiracy, conspiracy to run an unlicensed money-transmitting business, bank fraud conspiracy, and derivatives and securities fraud.
U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan has issued a firm deadline of February 1, 2024, for government prosecutors to decide whether they will press forward with the impending second trial.