NFL star Tom Brady was among several high-profile figures and companies to potentially lose billions of dollars collectively following the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX, according to bankruptcy filings.
Mr Brady held 1.14 million shares in FTX Trading at the time of its demise, while other large investors included New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and billionaires Dan Loeb and Peter Thiel.
FTX will ask a US bankruptcy court on Wednesday to allow it to auction off pieces of its business – including LedgerX, Embed, FTX Japan and FTX Europe – and to keep customer names secret for at least six months while it works to recover funds lost in what was allegedly a huge fraud.
The company has argued typical bankruptcy rules which require disclosures about creditors, including as many as 9.5 million customers, could expose them to scams, violate privacy laws and allow rivals to poach them, undermining FTX’s value as it hunts for buyers.
FTX’s request has been supported by its official creditors committee and ad hoc groups of FTX customers.
FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, was indicted on two counts of wire fraud and six conspiracy counts last month in Manhattan federal court for allegedly stealing customer deposits to pay debts from his hedge fund, Alameda Research, and lying to equity investors about FTX’s financial condition. He has pleaded not guilty.
The four companies FTX intends to sell are relatively independent from the broader FTX group, and each has its own segregated customer accounts and separate management teams, according to FTX court filings.
The crypto exchange has said it is not committed to selling any of the companies, but that it received dozens of unsolicited offers. FTX expects to generate additional bids by scheduling auctions in February and March.
The US Trustee, a bankruptcy watchdog that is part of the Department of Justice, has opposed selling the affiliates before an extensive investigation can be done into the extent of the FTX fraud allegedly carried out by Bankman-Fried.
The former billionaire has acknowledged shortcomings in FTX’s risk management practices, but has said he does not believe he is criminally liable.
Earlier this week, it was revealed through Freedom of Information requests that 13 investors in the UK have reported FTX to Action Fraud, with a total loss reported of £1.16 million.
Additional reporting from agencies.