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HomeBusinessSam Bankman Fried Retaliates Against the SEC and Semafor Offers $10 Million...

Sam Bankman Fried Retaliates Against the SEC and Semafor Offers $10 Million Buyout While Others Return FTX Funds

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Sam Bankman Fried FTX

Semafor a news media startup, intends to buy out FTX founder Sam Bankman-nearly Fried’s $10 million investment in the news startup business, according to the New York Times, citing the company’s CEO. “We intend to repurchase Sam Bankman-shareholding Fried’s in Semafor and place the money in a separate account until the relevant legal authorities provide instructions as to where the money should be returned,” stated Semafor CEO Justin Smith, according to the New York Times.

The FTX coin has risen after the CEO stated that a “viable firm” may emerge from bankruptcy. FTX CEO John Jay Ray III said Thursday he’s open to restoring the bankrupt exchange if it involves returning money to customers and other creditors. “Everything is on the table,” Ray told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Thursday. “There are stakeholders we’re working with who’ve identified what they see is a viable business.” The crypto exchange’s token, FTT (FTT-USD), increased by up to 35%. Since the end of October 2022, FTT has lost 90% of its value. FTT sold for more than $70 per token at its peak in September 2021.

Who has or may return funds that Sam Bankman Fried donated to?

According to reports, the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have all promised to return more than $1 million in SBF donations received since 2020. On December 20, CNBC reported that the Senate Majority PAC, which supports Democratic senators, intended to return the $1 million received from Bankman-Fried and the $2 million received from former FTX engineer Nishad Singh.

Blockfolio, an FTX company, promised to make “annual contributions to organizations specified by” supermodel Gisele Bündchen, who recorded a commercial for FTX with then-husband Tom Brady. The lawyers handling FTX’s bankruptcy have requested that the partnership, as well as several  other sponsorships, be terminated. Bündchen’s representative declined to respond.

According to a spokesperson, Stanford Medicine received around $4.5 million and was promised an additional $1 million. The school has decided to get more legal clarification before returning any funds.

ProPublica an independent, nonprofit newsroom announced that it will return the initial $1.6 million it received in what was supposed to be a three-year, $5 million grant, and that it has terminated its relationship with the Building a Stronger Future foundation following allegations of fraudulent activities against Sam Bankman-Fried. Building a Stronger Future, a family foundation run by Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and his brother, Gabe Bankman-Fried announced a $5 million grant to ProPublica on Feb. 28, 2022. Over three years, the donation will support investigations into ongoing questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, biosecurity, and public health preparedness.

On December 13th,  the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Samuel Bankman-Fried with orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX Trading Ltd. (FTX), the crypto trading platform of which he was the CEO and co-founder. Investigations into other securities law violations and into other entities and persons relating to the alleged misconduct are ongoing.

Sam Bankman Frieds latest Substack post tries to claim the SEC is wrong. Here are some highlights from his post. We wonder what his attorney says about his desperate plea to publicly post online that he did nothing wrong.

Summary- Sam Bankman Writes-

“Today (January 17th, 2023), Sullivan & Cromwell (S&C) released some more information  about FTX US. Some of this information was extremely helpful. They gave substantially more information on the assets that FTX US holds!

Some of what S&C released is extremely misleading. In particular, they  write: “The assets identified as of the Petition Date are substantially less than the aggregate third-party customer balances suggested by the electronic ledger for FTX US.” And in a  presentation, they said “Investigation has confirmed shortfalls at both International and U.S. Exchanges.”

These claims by S&C are wrong and contradicted by data later on in the same document. FTX US was and is solvent, likely with hundreds of millions of dollars in excess of customer balances.

In the  presentation  that S&C formally filed on the Delaware Chapter 11 court docket, S&C failed to include $428m in FTX US’s bank accounts as an asset:

  1. $181m of digital assets,  not including $428m USD in banks
  2. More than $181m of customer balances,  including USD
  3. Thus, they concluded that FTX US had a “shortfall”

Later in the same report, S&C reveals that FTX US has an additional $428m USD in bank accounts, on top of the $181m of tokens–for roughly $609m of total assets.

Customer balances are likely around $199m, and certainly less than $497m (which they were a day earlier before massive withdrawals).

Thus, FTX US had at least $111m, and likely around $400m, of excess cash on top of what was required to match customer balances.

A straightforward reading of S&C’s statements suggests they are making a large and basic mistake. They claim that “the FTX Debtors have identified approximately $181 million of digital assets associated with FTX US as of the Petition Date”. “Digital assets” isn’t defined, but one might interpret it to include tokens but not bank balances. They go on to say that “The assets identified as of the Petition Date are substantially less than the aggregate third-party customer balances suggested by the electronic ledger for FTX US.” ‘The assets’ is not defined, but it would be reasonable to suspect it’s the same asset class as referenced above–which is to say, potentially only tokens and not cash. ‘Third-party customer balances,’ on the other hand, does not specify anything about non-USD balances, and so one could imagine it referring to full customer balances, including USD. If both of those guesses were true, their statement would merely be saying that full customer balances, including USD, were larger than digital wallet assets, excluding bank balances, and that the “shortfall” might simply be customer balances that are fully backed by dollars in one of FTX US’s bank accounts–not a real shortfall at all.

S&C claims that FTX US has a shortfall. That claim is false. Based on S&C’s own data provided in the same court presentation, FTX US had roughly $609m of assets ($428m USD in bank accounts, plus $181m of tokens) backing roughly $199m of customer balances. FTX US was solvent when it was turned over to S&C, and almost certainly remains solvent today.”

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The DOJ raises a conflict-of-interest objection to FTX’s choice of attorneys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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