Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board seized assets belonging to Sam Bankman-Fried following an investigation into FTX’s operations in Turkey.
Turkey’s MASAK issued an official announcement outlining preliminary findings and actions taken against Bankman-Fried. On November 14, MASAK launched an investigation.
The Turkish investigation found that FTX failed to securely store user funds, embezzled customer funds through shady transactions, and manipulated market supply and demand by allowing customers to buy and sell listed cryptos that were not backed by actual crypto holdings.
Following these findings, MASAK seized Bankman-Fried’s and affiliates’ assets after determining strong “criminal suspicion” on the aforementioned points.
The FTX TR website is still operational, but it only displays a message to users with instructions on how to receive balances from accounts.
Through a link, users are asked to share IBAN information and the Turkish identity number of their respective Turkish Lira accounts.
According to a LinkedIn post from FTX TR, the exchange has over 110,000 users and a monthly transaction volume of $500 to $600 million since the launch of its mobile application earlier in 2022. The company had 27 employees.
The company also attempted to transfer user balances in FTX TR to their bank accounts, according to the post.
A former Binance executive who previously managed global business growth in Turkey, the CIS, and the EU managed FTX TR.
According to a local media report, the FTX website received an average of 187,000 unique visitors per month from Turkey, ranking it sixth in the world.
FTX is currently in bankruptcy proceedings, which are being led by new CEO John Ray III.
The man in charge of investigating Enron’s infamous collapse in the early 2000s described the FTX debacle as the worst he had seen in his professional career.
As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, a strategic review of FTX’s global assets is currently being conducted in order to maximize recoverable value for stakeholders.