Monday, January 9, 2023

US DOJ to seize $465 million of Robinhood shares tied to Bankman-Fried

U.S. prosecutors are in the process of seizing shares of Robinhood Markets Inc tied to Sam Bankman-Fried, who has been charged with fraud in the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, a U.S. attorney told a judge on Wednesday. The Department of Justice did not believe the 56 million shares of Robinhood, worth about $465 million, were property of a bankruptcy estate, U.S. attorney Seth Shapiro told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey, who is overseeing the FTX bankruptcy. Shapiro said that competing claims to shares of the stock-trading app could be worked out in a forfeiture proceeding. Bankrupt crypto firm BlockFi, FTX and liquidators in Antigua have all laid claim to the Robinhood stock, along with Bankman-Fried. Prosecutors have accused Bankman-Fried of engaging in a years-long "fraud of epic proportions" that cost investors, customers and lenders potentially billions of dollars by using customer deposits to support his Alameda Research hedge fund. Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to counts of wire fraud and conspiracy. He has acknowledged risk-management failures at FTX, but has said he did not believe he was criminally liable. Bankman-Fried purchased about 7.42% of Robinhood's stock through Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd, using funds borrowed from Alameda Research, according to an affidavit he filed in December in an Antigua court.

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