U.S. Asks for Court Permission to Sell Sam Bankman-Fried’s Private Jets

The U.S. government has taken steps to sell two private jets owned by Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. This step is part of a larger effort to manage assets connected to the bankrupt exchange in effort to reimburse victims.

On March 22, stipulation and order documents filed in the Southern District of New York revealed a request by the U.S. government for permission to sell the two airplanes. The request is part of an agreement involving Island Air Capital and Capital Peak Aviation, who currently possess one of the jets, an Embraer Legacy, in The Bahamas.

The terms outlined in the filing include a plan for the Embraer Legacy to be flown back to the United States and handed over to government custody. Additionally, the government has agreed to cover reasonable costs incurred for maintaining both planes before their seizure and the transportation costs for returning the Legacy to the U.S. 

This aims to facilitate the interlocutory sale of the planes, as governed by specific federal rules regarding asset forfeiture. According to the government’s filing, bankman-Fried, currently incarcerated, has not objected to the proposed stipulation and order.

What’s Been Happening with FTX?

Parallel to the government’s move to sell the jets, Silvergate Bank faces a class-action lawsuit from FTX users who claim that the bank helped with the fraudulent activities at FTX and Alameda Research.

The court highlighted Silvergate’s crucial role in processing transactions that channeled FTX customer funds to Alameda Research, emphasizing the bank’s incentive to support FTX and Alameda due to its business model centered around adopting the FTX platform.

Meanwhile, FTX’s restructuring officer, John Ray, has recently taken a stand against attempts by Bankman-Fried’s legal team to reduce his sentencing. In a statement to the court, Ray denied claims made by Bankman-Fried’s defense regarding FTX’s solvency at the time of bankruptcy and the alleged absence of financial loss to customers. He emphasized the harm and ongoing suffering of FTX’s victims, arguing against the leniency in sentencing Bankman-Fried’s lawyers are currently pursuing.

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