• DOJ seized over 55 million Robinhood shares owned by Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX co-founder Gary Wang, worth $456 million.
• The shares had been held at U.K.-based brokerage ED&F Man.
• Sam Bankman-Fried was formally charged with money laundering, wire fraud and other crimes on Dec. 13.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized over 55 million shares of Robinhood (HOOD) stock, worth approximately $456 million, owned by Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX co-founder Gary Wang. The shares had been held at an account at U.K.-based brokerage ED&F Man.
The stock was owned – via a holding company – by the two, who had used it as a form of collateral. However, the court document states that the “seized Assets constitute property involved in violations” of crimes such as money laundering and wire fraud. Sam Bankman-Fried was formally charged with those and other crimes on Dec. 13.
Bankman-Fried had requested that the shares be unfrozen, saying that he needed them to cover his legal fees. FTX, now run by John Ray III, had requested that the judge freeze the stock instead, claiming that Bankman-Fried had acted fraudulently. The judge ultimately sided with FTX, allowing the DOJ to take control of the shares.
The news of the DOJ’s seizure of Bankman-Fried’s shares has sent shockwaves throughout the cryptocurrency industry. Many are wondering if this could have long-lasting implications for the sector, as well as for the broader financial markets.
The case has also raised questions about Bankman-Fried’s future as a leader in the industry. While he has not been found guilty of any crimes, the allegations against him have certainly damaged his reputation. It remains to be seen how this will affect him and his business ventures in the long run.
Overall, the DOJ’s seizure of Bankman-Fried’s shares is a major development in the cryptocurrency industry. It remains to be seen how this will affect the sector and Bankman-Fried’s future in the industry.