On Tuesday, January 3, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office announced forming of an FTX Task Force which will dedicatedly focus on all investigations and charges faced by the company. The goal of the special task force formation is to locate and recover the assets of victims from the exchange's collapse.
This development came as the disgraced FTX founder appeared in the Manhattan District Court for pleading not guilty in his criminal case. Sam Bankmna-Fried's trial has been set up for trial later this year on October 2, 2023. SBF has been accused of financial fraud and conducting multiple financial offenses and could face 115 years of prison.
SBF is currently on a $250 million bail bond but under house arrest at his parent's home. Along with SBF, FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda, are also facing multiple charges. In a statement on Tuesday, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:
"The Southern District of New York is working around the clock to respond to the implosion of FTX. We are launching the SDNY FTX Task Force to ensure that this urgent work continues, powered by all of SDNY's resources and expertise, until justice is done".
The FTX Task Force
The task force formed by the Manhattan District Court will involve attorneys from Money Laundering, Securities and Commodities Fraud, Transnational Criminal Enterprises departments, and Public Corruption. Andrea Griswold, Williams' senior deputy will be leading this task force.
According to the estimates of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), customers have reportedly lost $8 billion with the collapse of FTX and Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried's hedge fund Alameda Research had a highly concentrated stake in FTX's native crypto FTT tokens. They used this as collateral to grant billions in loans. As things got exposed, Binance announced that they would sell their stake in FTT, causing a large outflow of capital. FTX finally announced bankruptcy in mid-November 2022.