In a hearing before a Delaware bankruptcy court, the US Justice Department has declared its seizure of $460 million worth of Robinhood shares from FTX. Sam Bankman-Fried and bankrupt crypto lender BlockFi have highly contested the shares.
The fight over the Robinhood shares
FTX co-founder Gary Wang and the then-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried established Emergent in May 2022. The holding company intended to acquire stock in the publicly traded Robinhood platform. In an affidavit filed in December, they revealed obtaining loans from Alameda Research totaling $546 million to pay for the shares.
In the hearing, a representative for FTX stated that it was unclear who owned the shares. In addition to FTX creditors, BlockFi was another potential claimant to the shares. According to BlockFi, Bankman-Fried guaranteed the shares to it. The now-bankrupt business has filed a lawsuit to retrieve the pledged shares.
Move to freeze shares owed to creditors
SBF, Wang and Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison are the subjects of criminal proceedings in the Southern District of New York. FTX attorney James Bromley stated on Jan. 4 that the court had mandated the seizures. The items confiscated relate to the Robinhood stock.
Bromley spoke to current litigation following the collapse of FTX and the ensuing chapter 11 bankruptcy of BlockFi in November 2022, as well as the processes going on in Antigua and Barbuda about the Robinhood shares:
“We are obviously reserving our rights with respect to the debtors and expect that the other parties are as well, but just wanted to make sure that it was clear that the Robinhood shares that were being seized are from accounts that are not currently under the control of the debtors.”James Bromley, FTX attorney
The Justice Department announced at the hearing that it would submit a notice of seizure outlining all of the assets taken from FTX by the agency.
The next court date is Jan. 20, 2023. The sitting judge has blocked off the day’s agenda to concentrate on FTX, the Robinhood shares, and any new developments.
In addition to bank and wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy, Bankman-Fried, Wang and Ellison face many other crimes. The trio could spend the rest of their lives in federal prison if found guilty on all counts.