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Sam Bankman-Fried used $546M in Alameda funds to buy Robinhood stake

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried borrowed $546 million from Alameda Research to purchase Robinhood shares this year, new court documents show.

The indicted 30-year-old admitted he and co-founder Gary Wang took out the money to buy the 7% stake in Robinhood, according to an affidavit Bankman-Fried made in a Caribbean court before he was arrested that was released Tuesday.

Last week, Bankman-Fried denied he used company funds to make the purchase in the bankruptcy battle with current FTX CEO John Ray, who is looking to claw back hundreds of millions of dollars from the alleged cryptocurrency grifter, according to US court filings.

Bankman-Fried claimed he was entitled to the Robinhood stake because he was the sole owner of the holding company, Emergent Fidelity Technologies, incorporated in Antigua, that made the acquisition.

But according to the Bahamas court filing, Bankman-Fried admitted to funneling the money from FTX-owned Alameda to Emergent.

Alameda, which was run by Bankman-Fried’s ex-paramour Caroline Ellison, has been at the center of FTX’s implosion. Last month, Reuters reported that Bankman-Fried had secretly transferred $10 billion in FTX client funds to prop up Alameda’s risky bets.

The latest bombshell complicates an ongoing legal battle about who owns the Robinhood stake — now valued at roughly $440 million — after FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11.

Bankman-Fried admitted he used Alameda funds to purchase Robinhood shares.
Matthew McDermott

The now-bankrupt digital asset lender BlockFi also claims it has a right to the shares. BlockFi, which was acquired by FTX in June, alleges Bankman-Fried promised the 56 million Robinhood shares to their company as collateral against a loan from Alameda.

“I’m not surprised that it’s one of the more valuable assets they have on their balance sheet, because it is public company’s stock,” Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev told CNBC earlier this month.

Also Tuesday, federal prosecutors were investigating an alleged cybercrime that drained more than $370 million from FTX hours after it filed for bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the case.

The criminal probe into the stolen assets, launched by the Department of Justice, is separate from the fraud case against Bankman-Fried, the report added.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office said he could not confirm or comment on the issue, while the DOJ and FTX did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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