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Sam Bankman-Fried Wants Access to Disputed Robinhood Stake For Legal Fees -- WSJ

The Wall Street Journal · 01/06/2023 14:30

By Alexander Saeedy and Vicky Ge Huang

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is trying to gain access to his Robinhood stake to help fund his legal defense, according to a court filing (https://assets.bwbx.io/documents/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/r_8AmRLCQ.RE/v0).

Lawyers for the former chief executive of the bankrupt crypto exchange said in a Thursday filing that Mr. Bankman-Fried "requires some of these funds to pay for his criminal defense."

Mr. Bankman-Fried and FTX co-founder Gary Wang together bought a 7.6% stake in Robinhood last year through the entity Emergent Fidelity Technologies. To fund the purchase, they borrowed more than $546 million (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/stock-market-news-today-12-27-2022/card/sam-bankman-fried-borrowed-funds-from-alameda-to-buy-robinhood-shares-czF3ZceVWPkQ24QbpOgA) via four promissory notes from FTX's sister trading firm Alameda Research. Mr. Bankman-Fried and Mr. Wang owned 90% and 10% of Emergent, respectively.

Various parties have sought to gain control of the 56.3 million Robinhood shares. The U.S. government has seized or is in the process of seizing the Robinhood shares](https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-ordered-seizure-of-money-from-ftx-digital-markets-accounts-at-silvergate-11672866368), the ownership of which is disputed by FTX and [BlockFi (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/stock-market-news-today-11-29-2022/card/blockfi-sues-for-sam-bankman-fried-s-robinhood-shares-sj4htah5lTOdPBBu9spq), a cryptocurrency lender that collapsed in late November.

Meanwhile, court-appointed liquidators in the Bahamas stated in a separate filing Thursday that they may have rights to the Robinhood shares too.

A spokesman for Mr. Bankman-Fried declined to comment.

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January 06, 2023 14:30 ET (19:30 GMT)

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