Triangular Tussle: Three Rival Groups Battle for Bankman-Fried’s FTX Assets

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The conviction of Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX resulted in forfeiture of $11 billion in property, including private jets, crypto tokens, and funds in bank accounts. In regard to these assets, three distinct groups have recently lodged claims to them in the ongoing saga of FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings.

According to the report, it was argued that all the assets were either under a Debtor entity or FTX Digital and were funded by Debtor assets.

FTX Debtors’ Estate Makes Its Claim

Leading the charge, the FTX debtors’ estate, headed by John Ray III, Bankman-Fried’s successor as CEO, filed a claim for six categories of assets. These include Alameda Research and FTX Digital Markets, two private jets, and funds at Silvergate Bank belonging to Bankman-Fried, and former FTX CFO Luk Wai Chan.

Additionally, the proceeds from the sale of Robinhood shares are held by an FTX entity named Emergent Fidelity Technology Ltd. As per the debtors’ estate argument in the filing, the assets never truly belonged to Bankman-Fried.

However, the estate claims that approving its request will be beneficial to all creditors and stakeholders involved in FTX’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Emergent and Creditors File Competing Claims

Meanwhile, Emergent and its liquidators are also laying claim to some of these assets. Emergent, which was used to purchase Robinhood shares, asserts that it retains the title to these assets as well as the proceeds from shares already seized and sold by the government.

Earlier, litigation over the Robinhood shares was put on hold while awaiting Bankman-Fried’s sentencing. Now, Emergent is asserting that the government only traced $292 million of the Robinhood shares to Bankman-Fried’s criminal conduct, according to Government Exhibit 1032 admitted at trial.

Debtors’ Estate Lay Claim to Robinhood shares.

However, the Debtors’ Estate is disputing Emergent’s claim, citing ongoing discussions with Emergent about a potential resolution that would recognize the debtors’ superior interest in the Robinhood shares. While the resolution could avoid further litigation, the Debtors’ Estate says it is ready to take necessary actions if the petitions are not dismissed.

Moreover, a class-action suit filed by lawyers representing FTX creditors in the Southern District of Florida has also staked a claim to the disputed assets. In the suit led by Sunil Kavuri, a representative of the largest FTX creditor group, they argue that the forfeited assets should be returned to customers rather than the debtors’ estate.

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