DOJ Seizes Over $450M in Robinhood Shares From FTX Execs

According to a court filing, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has, through a holding company, seized more than 55 million shares of Robinhood (HOOD) held by Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX co-founder Gary Wang. Based on HOOD’s closing price of $8.25 on Friday, these shares are worth just over $456 million.

The shares were held in an account with British brokerage firm ED&F Man. Court documents show that “the assets seized constitute the property involved in the case,” money laundering, wire fraud and other crimes. Sam Bankman-Fried was formally charged with these and other offenses on December 13.

Interest in Robinhood is principally owned by FTX co-founders Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang through their holding company Emergent Fidelity Technologies. FTX, now run by John Ray III, asked a judge to freeze the shares late last month. Bankman-Fried naturally declined the move, in part, he said, because he needed the shares to pay his legal fees.

The US government said on Wednesday that it is seizing some assets that may be linked to FTX. The US Department of Justice said last week it intends to seize the shares — 90 percent owned by Bankman-Fried and 10 percent owned by Wang. Bankman-Fried’s attorneys at the time dismissed the possible seizure, saying it was “inappropriate” to automatically assume the shares had been purchased with illicit funds.

FTX bankruptcy attorney and new CEO John Ray testified before Congress last month that FTX commingled user assets with Alameda Research that were used for margin trading.

What Does SBF Have Left?

During an interview at Dealbrook Summit in November, SBF claimed to only have $100,000 left in his bank account – an inkling of his multi-billion dollar net worth prior to FTX’s collapse. 

Bankman-Fried was extradited to the US from the Bahamas on the DOJ’s order in December but was later released on $250 million bail. He is locked in the Northern District of California while awaiting trial and disallowed from taking out any new lines of credit until then.