The country’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board, known locally as MASAK, seized the assets of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried following the collapse of his core business. An official announcement by Turkey’s MASAK outlined preliminary findings and actions against Bankman-Fried following bankruptcy proceedings for its core business. MASAK began investigating on November 14. he translated MASAK’s recent announcement, highlighting three key research points.
The Turkish investigative agency found that FTX failed to keep user funds safe, embezzled customer funds through suspicious transactions, and manipulated market supply and demand by tricking customers into buying and selling listed cryptocurrencies that were not backed by actual cryptocurrency holdings.
Because of these findings, MASAK seized the assets of Bankman-Fried and its affiliates following a determination of strong “criminal suspicion” in the above matters. The FTX TR website is still active but only shows users a message with instructions on how to receive account balances. Users are asked to share the IBAN information and Turkish ID number of their respective Turkish Lira accounts via a link. A LinkedIn post by FTX TR noted that since the launch of its mobile app in early 2022, the exchange has had more than 110,000 users and processed an average monthly transaction volume of $500 million to $600 million. The company employed 27 people.
The post also noted that the company had transferred users’ FTX TR balances to their bank accounts.
FTX TR was led by a former Binance executive who previously led global business growth in Turkey, CIS, and the EU. The former head of FTX TR to determine if the local operation was aware of inappropriate trading activity by its parent company and will update this article accordingly. According to a local media report, the FTX website attracted an average of 187,000 unique monthly visitors from Turkey, the sixth-highest number per country. FTX is now in bankruptcy proceedings led by new CEO John Ray III. The man responsible for solving Enron’s infamous collapse in the early 2000s described the FTX debacle as the worst he’d witnessed in his professional career.
As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, a strategic review of FTX’s global assets is ongoing to maximize the realizable value for stakeholders.