Over $1 million worth of crypto assets linked to the bankrupt trading firm and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried are being transferred to various wallets and coin mixing platforms.
Blockchain analysts are reporting that crypto assets on wallets linked to Alameda Research, the now bankrupt hedge fund owned by disgraced crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), are being transferred to other wallets and coin mixers to obscure transactions.
On December 28, Martin Lee, a data scientist at blockchain analytics firm Nansen, reported that the trading firm transferred various Ethereum-based tokens into two wallets which were later swapped for Ether (ETH) Tether (USDT) and Bitcoin (BTC). The first wallet happened to receive 570 ETH ($682,426), with 303 ETH ($362,763) coming directly from wallets connected to Alameda, 266 ETH ($318,465) from unknown wallets that could be linked to the company, and 0.66 ETH ($790) from a wallet tagged to Bankman-Fried. Out of this, 520 ETH ($622,564) was transferred to a second wallet, while the remaining 50 ETH ($59,561) was sent to other unknown wallets.
The second wallet received 719,498 LDO ($682,000) and 230 ETH ($275,365) from Alameda research, 520 ETH from the first wallet, and 4 ETH ($4,788) from unknown wallets. The Lido tokens (LDO) were swapped for 601.49 ETH ($720,127), bringing the total Ethereum balance to 1,351 ETH ($1.6 million).
From this, 1,158.9 ETH ($1.38 million) was exchanged for 1.4 million USDT stablecoin. 200,000 USDT was then used to purchase 11.9 staked bitcoin (sBTC) on automated market maker (AMM) platform Curve Finance, before it was swapped for 10.336 renBTC ($171,691), which was later redeemed by the company. Another 200,000 USDT was swapped back for 167 ETH via AirSwap. 360.5 ETH ($431,505) was sent to new wallets, and from there to coin mixing platforms ChangeNow and FixedFloat. 800,000 USDT was later sent to FixedFloat via new wallets, and the remaining 200,000 USDT was sent through a couple of unknown wallets to crypto exchange Binance.
Pseudonymous blockchain sleuth ZachXBT, who was also investigating the transfers, said the 10 BTC was deposited on Wasabi, a wallet that combines multiple Bitcoin transactions to hide their origins. However, they could not identify who was behind the transactions but claimed that it was highly unlikely that a liquidator would use FixedFloat and ChangeNow to redeem or exchange funds.
Alameda Research is the sister company and trading firm of collapsed crypto exchange FTX. Last month, both companies that were part of Sam Bankman-Fried’s billion dollar crypto empire filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is alleged that FTX was syphoning customer funds to Alameda to be traded or invested in initiatives funded by the disgraced founder. However, their bets failed after both firms went bust, leading to customers losing $10 billion worth of assets that were locked on the crypto exchange.
Earlier this month, Bankman-Fried was arrested by authorities in the Bahamas, where his companies are headquartered. He was then extradited to the United States to face charges. Federal prosecutors hit him with eight criminal charges – including securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Currently, Bankman-Fried is under house arrest at his parents’ after being left on a $250 million bail, awaiting trial.
Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, co-founder and CTO of FTX, plead guilty to charges against them, admitting that they were aware of the fraud scheme and assisted Bankman-Fried knowing that it was both wrong and illegal to do so. The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have filed lawsuits against Bankman-Fried and his companies.
The U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) is also investigating the $372 million hack that occurred on FTX the same day it announced bankruptcy, which SBF claims was done by a former employee. Whereabouts of the stolen funds are still unknown.