Feds Seize $456 Million in Stock Owned by Embattled FTX Co-Founders

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The US Department of Justice has seized more than 55 million Robinhood shares owned by FTX co-founders Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang and valued at over $455 million, according to a Monday report by Coinbase. The value is pegged to Friday’s share price of $8.25. The stock was with a UK-based holding company. 

Bankman-Fried is fighting to hold on to his shares, arguing that the funds are needed to pay his legal defense and saying that he and Wang legitimately bought them with funds borrowed from FTX hedge company Alameda Research, Coinbase said in a separate report.

Robinhood didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

News of the DOJ’s seizure comes as Bankman-Fried faces mounting legal troubles following the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in FTX customer funds has hurt confidence in the cryptocurrency market. Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to fraud charges earlier this month. FTX is now being run by John Ray III, who’s overseeing the complicated bankruptcy process. He asked a judge last month to freeze FTX stock, a move opposed by Bankman-Fried.

FTX was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world before going bankrupt late last year. Bankman-Fried and other top employees had allegedly misused customer funds in risky investments that began to fold as the crypto market saw a major slide in 2022.