The U.S. Department of Justice says the two jets purchased by Bankman-Fried via FTX are now property subject to forfeiture due to charges brought against the former CEO.
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Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried’s two multimillion-dollar luxury jets are now subject to forfeiture, according to a filing from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on Oct. 4.
The document states the possibility of forfeiture comes as a result of the “offenses described in Counts One through Four and Seven of Indictment 22 Cr. 673 (LAK),” which were brought against SBF.
The aircraft listed are a Bombardier Global and an Embraer Legacy. These two aircraft are currently at the heart of an ownership debacle between the government, FTX and the aviation company operating the jets, Island Air Capital, according to documents filed on Sept. 21 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
In the arguments, the government said both aircraft are subject to forfeiture due to being purchased with fraudulent funds, while FTX says the loans used to purchase the jets were not documented.
In December 2022, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a lawsuit against SBF, FTX and Alameda Research, accusing the latter parties of violating the Commodity Exchange Act. Accusations against SBF from the CFTC included that he “used FTX customer funds for a variety of personal expenditures,” one of which was the private jets.
This filing comes as Bankman-Fried is currently standing trial for multiple charges related to the fall of FTX in November 2022. SBF has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The trial is presided over by Judge Lewis Kaplan.
The trial began on Oct. 3 with jury selection, and opening arguments from the prosecution and the defense were heard the following day on Oct. 4.
The DOJ’s opening statement portrayed Bankman-Fried as deliberately deceiving customers and investors to get rich and expand his operations, while SBF’s defense argued he is simply a young entrepreneur whose business plans “didn’t work out.”
Cointelegraph is on the ground in New York with the latest updates on the trial. Follow live updates here.