According to Reuters, at least $1 billion of customer funds have “vanished” after the crypto exchange FTX collapsed.
Speaking with sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried secretly transferred $10 billion in customer funds from FTX to his trading company Almeda Research, but a large portion of that money has since disappeared.
One source told Reuters the total amount missing could be around $1.7 billion. Another source said it was anywhere from $1 billion to $2 billion.
The financial discrepancy was revealed in records Bankman-Fried shared with other senior executives two weeks ago. Both sources, who held senior positions in FTX before the bottom dropped out, said they were briefed on the company’s finances by top staff.
FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11 and announced that the 30-year-old CEO Bankman-Fried was resigning after traders rushed to withdraw $6 billion from the platform in just 72hoursafterrival exchange Binance walked away from a proposed rescue deal.
FTX.com, FTX’s US operations, and Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency trading firm Alameda Research are among the 130 FTX Group companies covered by the bankruptcy.
That day, Bankman-Fried tweeted his apology “that we ended up here.” He tweeted that he was “piecing together” what happened at the crypto exchange, saying he was “shocked” to see the way things unraveled.
The crypto empire plunged to about $1 billion after being valued at $32 billion in January. Last Tuesday, it was reported that Bankman-Fried and FTX co-founder Gary Wang were detained “under supervision” by Bahamian authorities as they are being investigated by the country’s financial crimes unit.
Bahamian law enforcement has been probing FTX since its collapse last week and is working with the Bahamas Securities Commission “to investigate if any criminal misconduct occurred,” according to an official notice.
Bankman-Fried was the Democrat Party’s second-largest donor during the 2022 election cycle, according to FEC records.
In 2022, Bankman-Fried donated over $39.7 million to Democrat causes, including giving six-figure checks to the DNC and the Senate Democrats’ Super PAC. He also donated another $6 million to the Democrat House Super PAC.