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SDNY launches FTX Task Force to recover funds

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The Southern District of New York has created a task force intending to recoup lost FTX assets, according to a report published by CNBC on Jan. 3.

That effort, called the FTX Task Force, will work to trace and recover funds belonging to customers who lost funds during the collapse of the exchange. The task force will also pursue investigations and prosecutions related to FTX.

The most recent estimates from U.S. regulators suggest that FTX users lost $8 billion due to fraud. About $3.5 billion of those assets seem to be held by regulators in the Bahamas, while another $372 million of funds were lost in a hack on FTX.

Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said:

The Southern District of New York is working around the clock to respond to the implosion of FTX…It is an all-hands-on-deck moment. We are launching the SDNY FTX Task Force to ensure that this urgent work continues, powered by all of SDNY’s resources and expertise until justice is done.

The task force will be led by Andrea Griswold, Williams’ chief counsel. Griswold previously led efforts to investigate Terra’s implosion last summer.

The Southern District of New York operates within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The task force will additionally bring together various other DOJ offices, including its Securities and Commodities Fraud unit, its Public Corruption unit, its Money Laundering unit, and its Transnational Criminal Enterprises unit.

The Southern District of New York is also responsible for other recent developments related to the ongoing case against FTX and its members.

The office reached a plea deal with FTX associates Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang last month. It also charged former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried with fraud and money laundering in mid-December; Bankman-Fried pled not guilty to those charges today.

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