Bankman-Fried tells FTX debtors to leave his Robinhood shares alone

Quick Take

  • FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried has filed a court action seeking to block debtors from taking control over his $450 million stake in brokerage Robinhood.
  • The disgraced exchange boss says the shares do not belong to any of the FTX-related entities now in bankruptcy proceedings.

FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried has filed a court action seeking to block debtors from taking control of his roughly $450 million stake in brokerage Robinhood.

Lawyers for the disgraced exchange boss argued the shares do not belong to any of the FTX-related entities now in bankruptcy proceedings, and that Bankman-Fried needs the money to fund his legal expenses, according to a court filing dated Thursday.

FTX, sister hedge fund Alameda Research and other related firms now in bankruptcy and under the control of court-appointed liquidators are seeking access to any assets they can find in order, including the Robinhood shares, to repay roughly 1 million creditors of FTX.

Failed crypto lender BlockFi, a lawsuit filed by an FTX creditor, and also the U.S. Department of Justice have all also sought control of the shares. 

Bankman-Fried and fellow FTX co-founder Gary Wang bought their 56.2 million share stake in Robinhood via special purpose vehicle Emergent Fidelity Technology. The two men borrowed money via promissory notes in order to purchase the shares from Alameda, the petition said.

'Irreparable harm'

"The FTX Debtors seek to disregard the separate existence of a corporation that is not a party to this action and encumber hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of assets to which they have no legal claim," Bankman-Fried's petition said.

Bankman-Fried is relying on his stake in Robinhood to fund his criminal defence, the petition said. “The withholding of costs necessary to an adequate criminal defense can constitute irreparable harm,” the petition added, citing a past court decision. ''Conversely, the FTX Debtors face only the possibility of economic loss.'' 

Disclaimer: Beginning in 2021, Michael McCaffrey, the former CEO and majority owner of The Block, took a series of loans from founder and former FTX and Alameda CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. McCaffrey resigned from the company in December 2022 after failing to disclose those transactions.

Yogita Khatri contributed to this story.


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