bankman fried

Texas, California, and New Jersey Join Call for Independent Examiner

A growing chorus of regulators wants an independent examiner appointed to review the financial statements, or lack thereof, in the FTX bankruptcy proceedings.

“Texas, among several other state and federal regulators, is currently investigating the Debtors and their related entities for violations in connection with their transaction of business in Texas and with Texas account holders,” wrote attorney Roma Desai on behalf of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The statement from the Texas attorney’s office follows similar motions from Wisconsin and Vermont regulators. The new court filing on Wednesday included letters of support from banking and securities officials in a handful of other states: Alaska; Arkansas; California; Florida; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Kentucky; Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and D.C..

If an examiner is appointed in the FTX case, it won’t be without some precedent.

Earlier this week the independent examiner who dug through bankrupt crypto lender Celsius released their 689-page report, concluding that problems at the company “dated back to at least 2020.”

The downfall of FTX

FTX and its related entities, including trading desk Alameda Research, filed for bankruptcy on November 11. Days later, newly appointed FTX CEO John Ray III,

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FTX has recovered $5B in liquid assets, bankruptcy lawyer says

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX has recovered upwards of $5 billion in liquid assets, an attorney for the failed platform told a judge Wednesday.

The FTX Arena name is still visible where the Miami Heat basketball team plays in Miami on Nov. 12, 2022. Lawyers for FTX disclosed Wednesday that more than $5 billion in liquid assets have been recovered so far. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier / AP Newsroom)

That figure includes cash, liquid digital assets and investments securities, the lawyer said.

FTX BUSINESS SALES DRAW OVER 100 EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

The revelation comes as FTX’s new leadership, led by current chief executive John J. Ray III, try to recover what they can of customers’ and investors’ funds following the firm’s collapse under previous CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

FTX CEO John Ray III testifies before the House Financial Services Committee

John Ray, CEO of FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange, speaks during a House Financial Services Committee hearing investigating the collapse of FTX in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 13, 2022. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Prior to its downfall, FTX was the world’s second-largest crypto exchange and was once valued at an estimated $32 billion.

DOJ

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FTX Fights Sullivan & Cromwell Removal Attempt From Bankruptcy

Sullivan & Cromwell’s removal or limitation as bankruptcy counsel for FTX would “severely, if not irreparably” harm customers and creditors, the cryptocurrency exchange’s CEO John Ray told a judge.

An “army” led by the firm’s lawyers have worked under Ray’s supervision around the clock for the past two-plus months, he told Delaware Bankruptcy Court Judge John T. Dorsey in a filing. The work has stopped assets from being depleted and aided federal investigations, he said.

“The advisors are not the villains,” Ray said. “This is not the time to distract and burden the debtors.”

FTX in the Tuesday filings is defending Sullivan & Cromwell’s role as its lead bankruptcy counsel after four US senators questioned the firm’s work for the crypto exchange prior to its implosion. The US Trustee has also raised concerns about whether the firm’s disclosures have been sufficient.

Sullivan & Cromwell has advised FTX since the exchange first initiated Chapter 11 proceedings in November, listing assets and liabilities of at least $10 billion. Dorsey is scheduled to weigh in on FTX’s application to keep the firm as its main bankruptcy counsel in a Friday hearing.

In a court filing on behalf of FTX, the firm said that

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FTX could pay over $2,100 per hour for bankruptcy lawyers

By Dietrich Knauth and Andrew Goudsward

(Reuters) – Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has asked a U.S. bankruptcy judge for permission to pay its top restructuring lawyers as much as $2,165 per hour, an unusually high rate for a company that cannot afford to repay all of its debts.

FTX declared bankruptcy on Nov. 11, collapsing amid a wave of customer withdrawals. Federal prosecutors have charged founder Sam Bankman-Fried with stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer assets to plug losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research, and two of his former associates have already pleaded guilty. Bankman-Fried is scheduled to be arraigned in New York on Thursday.

New York-based law firm Sullivan & Cromwell is representing FTX in its Chapter 11 case and guiding its efforts to return assets to customers. FTX late Wednesday asked the Delaware federal judge overseeing the case for approval to pay the firm’s partners and special counsel between $1,575 and $2,165 per hour for their work.

The top lawyers’ rates far exceed the $1,300 per hour billed by FTX’s new CEO John Ray, who also filed an application with the court late Wednesday.

Court-approved billing rates for bankruptcy attorneys did not cross the $2,000-per-hour mark

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FTX Paid Crypto Bankruptcy Lawyers $12 Million for Early Work

Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX Ltd. paid its lead lawyers more than $12 million to handle the earliest portions of the closely watched Chapter 11 case, according to a Wednesday court filing.

Law firm Sullivan & Cromwell received a $12 million retainer from an FTX-controlled company shortly before the exchange’s Nov. 11 bankruptcy filing, the filing shows. The firm has drawn a little more than $3 million of that, largely for work done in the days leading up to the rushed bankruptcy filing.

Quinn Emanuel is also working for FTX and its board of directors as special counsel in a litigation capacity, looking for legal claims the bankruptcy estate might be able to bring. The firm received about $575,000 in the three months leading up to FTX’s filing, according to another court filing.

Landis Rath & Cobb, whose lawyers are FTX’s local Delaware counsel, received a $300,000 retainer in the 90 days leading up the filing.

FTX imploded in spectacular fashion in early November, leading to the firing of co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried and a rushed Chapter 11 filing of more than 100 FTX-related companies. In a sign of the hurried pace, FTX didn’t submit typical “first-day” filings until

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