FTX Entities Paid Bankman-Fried and Other Top Execs More Than $AU4.51 Billion Before Collapse

FTX Entities Paid Bankman-Fried and Other Top Execs More Than $AU4.51 Billion Before Collapse

As down-and-out crypto exchange FTX struggles through the miasma of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, seeking to recoup funds needed to make customers and investors whole, the company now says there was around $US3.2 ($AU4.51) billion dolled out to former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and five other members of his inner circle before the collapse.

Late on Wednesday, FTX provided more information about executive payments from its most recent bankruptcy court filings. In a press release, FTX said Bankman-Fried saw $US2.2 ($AU3.3) billion in payments and loans, most of the money coming from Alameda Research, the hedge fund which was a main aspect of the crypto exchange’s downfall.

Other approximated payments included:

  • $US587 ($AU881) million to Nishad Singh
  • $US246 ($AU369.55) million to Zixiao “Gary” Wang
  • $US87 ($AU130) million to Ryan Salame
  • $US25 ($AU37.56) million to John Samuel Trabucco
  • $US6 ($AU9.01) million to Caroline Ellison

The company said that over $US240 ($AU360) million of this money was spent on luxury property in the Bahamas, where the company was previously based, as well as political and charitable donations. Some of this property is in control of the FTX debtors or government authorities. The company said it was trying to get this money back from Bankman-Fried and others, but that it couldn’t predict how much money they will be able to recover, and when.

After FTX’s collapse last November, it became more and more clear that Bankman-Fried had directed FTX to send customers’ funds over to Alameda Research, despite the two entities being ostensibly separate. The bankrupt company has been looking to claw back billions of dollars for its investors, and in recent presentations FTX’s new execs said it’s still trying to find around $US9 ($AU13.52) billion in customer funds. Those documents also revealed Alameda borrowed $US9.3 ($AU13.97) billion in customer deposits. John Ray III, the new CEO trying to push the company through this financial morass, recently said much of these funds are “totally absent.”

Bankman-Fried, who also goes by SBF online, is facing a total of eight, wait (checks notes) 12 federal charges for wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy, and for violating U.S. campaign finance laws. The former FTX CEO has pleaded not guilty, and he’s currently awaiting trial set to start later this year. SBF has been chronically online since he returned to the U.S. to face his indictment, something that has got him in trouble with prosecutors and the judge over fears he may be trying to manipulate witnesses.

Salame, the former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO, had previously flipped on SBF, tipping off the Bahamian regulators about the company’s goings on. Alameda co-CEO Trabucco, retired from the company before FTX’s collapse in 2022. He’s since tried hard to stay off the radar. His last tweet on Nov. 8, just when FTX was seeking a Binance buyout, was “Much love to everyone — I’m sure the past few days have been dark for many and I hope the road ahead is brighter.”

Several of those other execs, like Singh, Ellison, and Wang are cooperating with federal prosecutors, the latter two having previously pleaded guilty. Singh, the company’s former director of engineering, recently pleaded guilty to fraud charges. Ellison, who headed up Alameda on SBF’s behalf, told the feds the hedge fund had “an unlimited line of credit” with FTX.

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