US Feds Launch FTX Task Force To Trace and Recover

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  • The Manhattan US Attorney’s Office has created a task force to recover losses linked to the collapse of FTX. 
  • The move comes as embattled FTX co-founder and CEO pleaded not guilty to several counts of fraud. 
  • Analysts laud the creation of the task force and call for a renewed push against activities of bad actors in the cryptosphere. 

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) has formed an ‘FTX task force’ to investigate and recover investor funds as well as to handle others related to the implosion of FTX last year. 

Damian Williams, a federal prosecutor on the FTX case, disclosed the task force’s establishment in a statement adding that all resources and expertise will be put in to ensure that justice is served. 

“The Southern District of New York is working around the clock to respond to the implosion of FTX, all hands are on deck. We are launching the SDNY FTX task force to ensure that this urgent work continues, powered by all the SDNY’s resources and expertise until justice is done.”

Led by Andrea Griswold, the task force will use asset forfeiture to recover billions owed to FTX users. The task force is made up of experienced and seasoned prosecutors from various SDNY divisions, including the Public Corruption Unit, Commodities Fraud and Transactional Crime Enterprise Unit. 

Griswold is also popular among digital asset circles for investigating the collapse of Terra’s stablecoin UST and LUNA token last year which wiped billions from the market. The FTX implosion has also resulted in huge losses, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimating over $8 billion loss for users. 

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FTX filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in November, claiming to have 100,000 creditors and liabilities going over $10 billion. 

SBF pleads not guilty 

The creation of the task force comes after Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) pleaded not guilty to all charges of fraud linked to the collapse of FTX. SBF is now scheduled to face trial on Oct 2, with the court granting further bail conditions which prohibit SBF from accessing or transferring FTX assets. 

SBF could potentially face jail time of up to 115 years if he is found guilty of all eight counts of fraud. Last month, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang pleaded guilty to fraud charges concerning their roles in the collapse of the digital asset exchange.

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