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Prosecutors Seek Early Sale of FTX Founder’s Luxury Jets to Prevent Losses Ahead of Sentencing

In a recent development in the United States government’s legal battle against Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, prosecutors have moved to liquidate two luxury aircraft before finalizing forfeiture procedures.

The action, detailed in a filing on March 22 with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, stems from efforts led by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams to mitigate the financial losses on two planes associated with FTX and Bankman-Fried.

The government’s strategy aims to address the depreciation of the assets in question, specifically a Bombardier Global and an Embraer Legacy, which were previously flagged in October 2023 as liable for seizure due to their connection with Bankman-Fried’s criminal activities.

The financial specifics regarding the aircraft, which were initially purchased for $15.9 million and $12.5 million respectively, remain somewhat ambiguous.

Nevertheless, the prosecution plans to allocate up to $1.8 million for their maintenance and an additional $183,000 for the Embraer Legacy’s transfer, contingent upon the sales’ returns being adequate.

An agreement facilitated between the prosecutors, FTX, and its affiliates has paved the way for the Embraer Legacy to be relocated to a Florida airport, facilitating the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) to initiate the sale process expediently.

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The USMS had already taken control of the Bombardier Global earlier in February 2023, pursuant to a legal warrant.

These aircraft represent a fraction of the assets linked to Bankman-Fried that are earmarked for forfeiture following his conviction on multiple criminal charges.

A list of assets disclosed in March included shares in Robinhood, various currencies, cryptocurrencies, and political donations made by SBF during his tenure at FTX.

Neither Bankman-Fried nor his legal representative, Marc Mukasey, have contested the sale of the planes.

Bankman-Fried was found guilty of seven felony charges in November 2023 and is currently incarcerated, awaiting a sentencing hearing scheduled for March 28.

The prosecution has proposed a sentence ranging from 40 to 50 years, while his defense has suggested a more lenient sentence of 6.5 years.

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