US prosecutors have launched an FTX Task Force to track down and recover missing crypto customer funds totalling at least $3 billion

US prosecutors have launched an FTX Task Force to track down and recover missing crypto customer funds totalling at least $3 billion
Sam Bankman-Fried leaving the Manhattan federal court after his arraignment Tuesday.David Dee Delgado/Reuters
  • New York prosecutors have set up an FTX Task Force team to probe the collapse of the crypto exchange.
  • The team will work to trace and recover missing FTX customer funds, which total at least $3 billion.

US prosecutors in New York have put together an FTX Task Force to nail down and recover billions of dollars of missing funds belonging to the collapsed crypto exchange's customers.

More than 1 million customers could be affected by what the US government has described as an epic fraud at FTX. Its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, faces criminal charges that allege he funneled customer funds from the crypto trading platform to FTX's sister trading arm Alameda Research.

"The Southern District of New York is working around the clock to respond to the implosion of FTX," Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement Tuesday, per CNBC. "It is an all-hands-on-deck moment."

The task force team brings together senior prosecutors with expertise in securities and commodities fraud, public corruption, money laundering and transnational criminal enterprises. They'll investigate and prosecute matters related to the collapse of FTX, according to the SDNY.

Investors in the FTX lost over $8 billion due to the alleged fraud at the now-bankrupt crypto group, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in its complaint. The FTX businesses are estimated to owe their biggest creditors up to $3 billion, per the Financial Times, while Reuters reported that Bankman-Fried transferred at least $4 billion in FTX funds, including customers' money, to Alameda.


In an effort to safeguard customer assets from being lost or stolen, more than $3.5 billion in crypto assets were seized by Bahamian regulators late December.

FTX customers have been going to all lengths to try and reclaim their money stuck on the embattled crypto exchange that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November. Some are selling their bankruptcy claims at steep discounts so they don't have to wait out a long bankruptcy process, while others have filed a class-action lawsuit against the firm.

The Feds' announcement comes soon after Bankman Fried pleaded not guilty in the US government's criminal case against him. He's faced with eight counts of financial crimes including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, all of which could land him life in prison.